Modi pitches India's frugal space prowess at rocket launch

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 30, 2014 2:22 AM

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a pitch for India to be the world's low-cost space technology supplier, minutes after witnessing the launch of a rocket carrying five satellites from France, Singapore, Germany and Canada on Monday.

The launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle bolsters India's goal of capturing more of the $304 billion annual global space market, and Modi seized the moment with an uplifting speech about India's prowess in cheap space technology.

"This fills every Indian's heart with pride and I can see it reflected in the joy and satisfaction on your faces," said Modi, from the launch site of India's southeastern coast.

"Truly this is a global endorsement of India's space capability," he said, adding that India's current Mars mission cost less than the budget of the Hollywood science fiction film Gravity.

(Reporting by Sruthi Gottipati; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Ron Popeski)