On Monday we reported on how the NASA Maven Explorer has reached Mars’ orbit and now another spacecraft has entered the orbit of the Red Planet and the nation who sent it is India. India reached Mars and became the first Asian Nation to do so. Let’s take a look at how it managed to achieve this amazing feat.
Many would call India lucky for reaching Mars, because the fact that India reached Mars with only $72 million is something quite incredible. Think about this: it cost less than making the movie Gravity with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock about space. Also, more than half of all the missions ever headed to Mars have failed and India was just at its first try. So yes, the fact that India reached Mars is something quite amazing.
The Mars Orbit Mission, or MOM how it’s fondly called by the Indians, entered Mars’ orbit after having been launched from Bangalore in November of last year. The spacecraft in called Mangalyaan, which means Mars-craft in Hindi.
Sandip Bhattacharya, the assistant director of B.M. Birla Planetarium, had this to say about the event:
We kept it low cost, high technology. That is the Indian way of working. Our goal was to reach Mars and send few pictures and scientific data. Now in the coming years, this will give us leverage to plan for newer Mars missions in a more aggressive manner with heavier payload with larger exploration goals.
Of course there had to be criticism of the mission. Some voices are saying that the project, which cost $72 million, is a luxury for a country where one third of its population still has no access to something as basic as electricity.
What are your thoughts on the fact that India reached Mars? Share them in the comment section below.