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Viewers respond to our report on the Indian space program

January 25, 2014 at 10:49 PM EDT
Viewers respond to our January 18, 2104 report on the Indian space program.
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HARI SREENIVASAN:  And now what you had to say about  us — comments we received after our broadcasts last weekend from viewers like you.

Most of what we heard focused on our report from India about that country’s little-known, but ambitious space program — a source of pride and controversy in that nation of 1.2 billion people.

We posted the story online with the headline — “Is India’s space program worth the money?” a number of you wrote back saying the United States might want to ask that of itself.

Clay Schott went to our website and wrote:

“Hari could’ve certainly pointed out the parallel between the points he’s raising, and the very same points raised by critics of the U.S. space program in the 1960′s.”

John Panarelli wrote on Facebook:

“The United States has a huge homeless population as well as millions who live in poverty. Yet we spend thousands of times what India spends on their space program….we are not in a position to criticize India.”

But many readers agreed with Walter Lycvkowski when he wrote on facebook.

“I don’t think that a nation’s science programs are an economic issue. It’s more a problem of political will. Besides, the payback for spending money on scientific exploration is phenomenal. Most of our modern electronics can be attributed to these programs.

We heard something similar from Johnny Le on our site.

“You can’t eliminate poverty with $70 million but you can inspire millions to study, to be more than who they currently are.”

Finally from India, we heard this:

“I don’t understand why Indians–should indulge westerners by giving interviews…and justify how we spend our money.”

Feel free to send us your thoughts either through the comment sections below on pbs.org.newshour or on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/newshour). Or tweet us back @newshour.