India enters Mars’ orbit and becomes the first Asian nation to ever reach Mars! On Monday we reported on the NASA Maven Explorer and how it reached Mars after traveling for one year. Today, we’re going to take a look at India and the Mangalyaan spacecraft.
India just entered Mars’ orbit and it’s done it on its first attempt, which is an awesome feat, keeping in mind that more than half of the Mars missions launched all over the world have failed and that the Mangalyaan is the cheapest interplanetary mission to date. Some might say that India beat all odds by achieving entering Mars’ orbit.
The Mangalyaan means Mars craft in Hindi and it was launched in November of last year. The scientists at the command center in Bangalore were terribly excited after witnessing their spacecraft entering the Martian orbit. The Indian Space Research Organization called the event a national pride event and it was streamed live on Twitter and Facebook.
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, talked about the Mission Orbiter Mars (MOM):
Mars has found MOM today. When this mission’s short name became MOM, I was convinced that Mom never disappoints. History has been created today. India is the only country to have succeeded to reach the Red Planet on its first attempt.
MOM is a pretty smart craft; it has a built-in intelligence, stand-by control system and autonomy. The deputy director of the control center in charge of the launch and control of MOM said that after studying the failure of others and the reasons behind the failures, they managed to succeed.
The Mars Orbiter Mission cost $72 million, which makes it, once again, the cheapest interplanetary mission ever, cheaper than what it took Hollywood to make the movie Gravity (2014).
What are your thoughts on the fact that India enters Mars’ orbit around the same time that the US does? Share them with us in the comment section below.