India put a satellite into Mars orbit early Wednesday, the only nation to have done so on a maiden voyage and the first in Asia to reach the red planet.And unbelievably inexpensively too!
Mangalyaan, Hindi for Mars craft, cost $74 million ... [Prime Minister] Modi boasted in June that India had spent less than Hollywood had on producing the film “Gravity” to reach the red planet.A second cost comparison is that $74 million could buy you (or them) about 50 cruise missiles. The per mile cost is stunningly inexpensive; as Tyler Cowen points out, the mission was cheaper per mile than a cab ride in Delhi.
It just goes to show that it's a lot easier to pull off impressive feats of rocket engineering than social engineering. And yet the saying is "it's not rocket science" when implying something isn't all that difficult. Shouldn't it be, "It's not social science?"