Indian spaceship reaches Mars

by Clayton Vallabhan | September 24th, 2014

India has made history by becoming the first nation to reach Mars on its maiden launch.

The Indian Mars Orbiter Mission’s (MOM) craft, Mangalyaan, entered orbit earlier this morning, after a 10-month journey to the red planet.

MOM was developed with homegrown technology at a cost of $75 million. By comparison, NASA’s Maven mission cost nearly $671 million.

The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi joined scientists at ISRO mission control, during the final phase of Mangalyaan entering the Martian orbit. “History has been created! We’ve dared to reach out into the unknown and achieved the near impossible,” said Modi.

“We must use our science to better governance, achieve economic growth and deliver the fruits of our development to people it’s never reached in the past,” he added.

Mangalyaan will circle the planet for six months, with five solar-powered instruments gathering data that may shed light on Martian weather systems. It also will search Mars for methane, a key chemical in life and geological processes on Earth.

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