NASA has been in the space business for more than 50 years, experimenting with real rocket science. They had nobel prize winners on their staff from great Universities advising them and guiding them to reach great and noble goals in the space business. They believed they were undoutedly the best in the race.
Not finding anything productive coming out of their successful Apollo missions to the Moon ( the world is made to believe so), due to the high costs they were forced to abandon it. It took just one moon mission from India, the Chandrayaan to prove there are traces of water vapour in the moon environment.
All through their journey what they forgot to keep track was the poor reliability of their missions, even though many space missions like the Pioneer and Voyager have cruised through space since 1972 even going out of the solar system.. The cost component was never a constraint for them, neither was innovation a driving force. Probably their political leaders were under the impression that leadership in space would give them the superiority to lead back on earth.
With the passage of time and the power gravity shifting from west to east, NASA is having a rethink at the basis of its very existence. If it has to survive, it needs to improve reliability from the present reliability for inter planetary missions from below 50% to at least 90% and cut costs drastically. For every interplanetary mission NASA undertakes, ISRO can undertake ten. That is demeaning to NASA and undermining their supposed superiority.
After all these exercises, exploding launches, bloated inter planetary missions will it be able to match up with ISRO ? Will ISRO again be given the responsibility to prove existence of water vapour or even life in martian atmosphere ? Time will tell !!