Ever thought what life could be outside our planet? Would there be waterfalls flowing down gently from the gigantic mountains standing tall and proud piercing the misty clouds or how deep would the oceans be. There are several new species that are discovered each year on our planet alone, science suggests that there could be many more worlds like ours. To imagine the undiscovered is both thrilling and scary, yet fascinating to think about the plausibility of life on a new planet. Mars, the second planet from the sun in our solar system is touted to be the next home for human race in the coming decades if the research and understanding of the planet is cracked by the bigwigs of the science world.
This Indian independence week my recommendation is National Geographic’s forty-four-minute documentary Mangalyaan: India’s Mission to Mars available on Netflix.
Logline: This documentary chronicles the first interplanetary space mission launched by India, tracing the probe from planning stage to the Martian orbit.
The crisp 44-minute documentary grips its audience from the very first frame, showing the ISRO (Indian space and research organization) situated in Bengaluru, India, where ISRO head honchos K Radhakrishnan and A S Kiran Kumar wait for the Mangalyaan to complete its over 300 days journey to the Martian orbit on 24th September 2014, along with the prime minister Shri Narendra Modi. After this quick glance to the D day, the film rewinds two years to 2012 when the interplanetary mission was announced by then prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, followed by ISRO scientists plunging into the preparation of Mangalyaan. The documentary consists of expert interviews, graphic representations and ISRO archive footage to flesh out the film. Scientists explaining the mission in layman terms makes it an interesting watch. Interesting anecdotes and chilling prophecies by late scientist and former president Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, through the mouth of an interviewee makes one wonder about the far away land.
Watching this documentary was like watching a cricket match that we already know has been won by India, but still continue watching for the hits and misses during the match. After a point one can feel a connection with Mangalyaan and ends up rooting for it to enter the Martian orbit. The drama piques viewer’s interest too, to know what went behind the development of Mangalyaan and finally its success feels patriotic. As an Indian I felt so proud of the ISRO scientists to develop a space craft with shoestring budget of 74 million dollars and to be the first in the world to achieve this project in its maiden attempt.
Mangalyaan gives hope that nothing is unachievable, it gives hopes for a new world in the undiscovered realm. With migration to Mars becoming a not so distant reality one can only hope that there will be more rainbows on Mars and not magma marking territories.
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