Economic and social impact aside, what excites me the most about the new 2000 rupee note is the fact that it features Mangalyaan, India’s Mars orbiter, on the back.

 

 

Source: Twitter | ANI

 

Reaching Mars is one of the coolest things India has done so far, and I’m hyped about this achievement being featured in such an important place.

 

India's Interest in Mars

 

Aah, Mars. Arid, lifeless rock. Dearest cosmic neighbour.

 

Mars is a fascinating planet because what we know about it so far hints at traces of water—one of life’s building blocks. As we learn more about the planet, we also learn more about Earth and inch closer towards understanding its mysteries.

 

Mangalyaan is, at this very moment, orbiting the red planet and sending back data about what might one day be our home (gotta get some of that sweet Martian real estate). It’s a marvel of modern engineering and a testament to Indian ingenuity.

 

 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

 

The satellite has been keeping Mars company since September 2014 and is finally getting the attention that it deserves.

 

Here’s Why Mangalyaan Is So Cool

 

- With this Mars Orbiter Mission—MOM (yo’ momma so fat, they had to send her off planet)—ISRO became the fourth ever organisation on Earth to reach the red planet. And the first in Asia!

 

- They did this with a surprisingly small budget of Rs. 450 crore, making it the world’s cheapest Mars mission so far.

 

 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

 

- And, they successfully put Mangalyaan into orbit on their first try. A feat that no country could boast till ISRO took a crack at it.

 

- Its roaring success has proved that ISRO is more than capable of tackling interplanetary missions. Thanks to this, we’re one small step closer to family vacations on Uranus.

 

Why Mangalyaan Money Matters

 

This is definitely a step in the right direction because it’s going to bring more attention to one of ISRO’s proudest achievements.

 

Notes of higher denominations make up a larger chunk of all the money in circulation. So, in a country with a population of 1.25 billion, you can imagine the sheer volume of Mangalyaan-ness that’s going to reside in people’s wallets. Seeing something on a regular basis is a great way to pique interest and raise awareness.

 

In this case, as people pay greater attention to the Indian space program, it’s likely that more students would gravitate towards space exploration, which adds to India’s overall progress in the long run.

 

 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

 

Besides, as we continue to put more useful things into space, our lives will keep getting better. For example, the recent INSAT-3DR launch is actively providing us with invaluable information that helps with everything from search and rescue missions to weather prediction.

 

Here’s to India, Mangalyaan, and the smell of freshly printed notes.