India woke up to a historic news today. Its low-cost Mars Mission Mangalyaan entered the Mars Orbit after travelling a distance of 666 million km (414 miles) for more than 10 months. Indian Space Research Organization proudly announced Mangalyaan’s entry into the red planet’s orbit this morning at 8 a.m India time.
India has achieved what only a few countries in the world have been able to achieve – the US, Russia, and a European space agency. The tremendous breakthrough for ISRO came at a cost of just $75 million compared to Nasa’s spacecraft Maven which cost a whooping $671 million. While India managed to pull it successfully in the first attempt, many countries have failed in their Mars mission including China in the year 2011.
Image Credit: ISRO
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quick to make a statement on the achievement by Indian Research Space Organization (ISRO). He said, “History has been made today,” and that “We have dared to reach out into the unknown and have achieved the near impossible.”
The spacecraft Mangalyaan will study the red planet atmosphere and scan for methane presence in it. Though it won’t land on Mars, it is likely to give out valuable information in the days to come.
The news of Indian mission entering into Mars orbit has come at a time when PM Modi is set for his US visit. He now has a lot more to talk about in his address to the United Nations.