Did Congress not provide proper transportation for the scientists to carry satellite ?

Claim

Congress was literally slowing our growth !

Rating

Explanation

An image comparison of Rahul Gandhi’s birthday celebration in plane and a satellite being carried in a bullock cart is shared with the context that Congress slowed the growth of the Country by not providing a proper vehicle to transport the satellite. This claim was viral for the last few years.

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What is the truth ?

When reverse-searching the images we found that the satellite was not carried in a bullock cart due to insufficient funds but for other reasons. And Youturn fact-checked and published an article on this claim in Tamil in 2019.

The image of Rahul Gandhi’s birthday celebration is found tweeted by the Congress History Twitter page in January 2016 with the caption “Indira Gandhi Celebrating Birthday of Rahul Gandhi in Aeroplane”.

The image of a satellite carried in a bullock cart is found tweeted by ‘The News Minute’ Twitter page in September 2014 with the caption “ISRO’s classic picture of the Apple satellite being transported on a bullock cart. Today we entered Mars orbit.”

The Hindustan Times article dated February 2017 mentions “In 1981, when India’s space scientists grappled with the challenge of finding a metal-free transportable platform for its new satellite, they turned to an improbable frugal innovation. As the world watched amazed, Indian scientists wheeled out their gleaming, new satellite on a creaking, old bullock cart.”

Live Mint in one of its articles titled ‘The rocket science behind the bullock cart in India’s space story’ published in 2019 mentioned that in 1981 the Indian scientists loaded India‘s first communication satellite APPLE onto a bullock-cart when they were gearing up for its launch from the Guiana Space Centre in France.

The article states that the Former ISRO Scientist Vasagam, Project Director of APPLE mentioned in one of his papers that they were close to the point of transporting the satellite to Toulose in France for final tests to be followed by launch from Kourou, and the solution was found in above five hours and at a cost of ₹150 for hiring the cart.

He mentioned, “APPLE was put on a bullock cart to provide a non-magnetic environment and to conduct the antenna test in an open field to remedy the TT&C link problem caused by impedance matching problem”.

Conclusion

It is found that though the images are true, the context it is shared is misleading. The APPLE satellite was loaded onto a bullock cart to conduct an antenna test in a non-magnetic environment before its launch.

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