India becomes first nation to succeed in maiden Mars mission
US, Russia, EU all took multiple attempts to reach Red Planet
Indian scientists announced the success of the nation’s low-budget mission to place a satellite in orbit of Mars, online media reported.
India spent just $74m on the venture, which saw the Mangalyaan (“Mars craft” in Hindi) satellite achieve orbit around the Red Planet. The 420m journey reportedly came to a smooth end when the 440-Newton liquid engine and eight small thrusters fired to decelerate the craft and place it orbit.
"India has successfully reached Mars; congratulations to all," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said from the mission’s Bangalore-based command centre.
"History has been created today. We have dared to reach out into the unknown and have achieved the near impossible."
The United States, Russia and the Europe Union have also sent probes to orbit or land on Mars, but India’s state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is the first to meet with success on the first attempt.