“We have gone beyond the boundaries of human enterprise and human imagination,” declared India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who watched from the space agency’s nerve center in Bangalore. “We have accurately navigated our spacecraft through a route known to a very few.”
The staff at the Indian Space Research Organization erupted into applause and cheers after learning that the Mars Orbiter Mission, also known as Mangalyaan, reached the planet’s orbit and made history.
Before Wednesday, only the United States, Europe and the Soviets have successfully sent spacecraft to Mars.
“The odds were stacked against us,” Modi said. “Of the 51 missions attempted so far, a mere 21 had succeeded. But we have prevailed.”
And India reached Mars with significantly less money.
With a price tag of $74 million, the Mars Orbiter Mission cost a mere fraction of the $671 million NASA spent on its MAVEN spacecraft, which arrived to Mars earlier this week.
CNN reports …