Early in the morning, while most of us were probably in our beds, history was created as India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (M.O.M.) successfully entered the orbit of the red planet. The I.S.R.O. pulled off an incredible feat of frugal engineering and helped us join an elite club of space-faring nations to have accomplished this stellar feat.
The internet has been abuzz and congratulations have been pouring in. Here are a few facts about the mission which every Indian would be proud of.
1. India is the first country in the world to have succeeded in putting a probe into Mars’ orbit in the very first attempt.
2. This is, hands down, the most cost effective Mars Mission to have ever been undertaken.
The Mangalyaan Mission cost $ 74 million. The recent Hollywood space adventure movie “Gravity” cost about a $ 100 million to make.
3. On an average, every Indian has probably contributed about Rs. 5 per person towards the mission.
So pat yourselves on the back.
4. At Rs 450 Crore for 780 Million km, the mission cost about Rs 5.77 per km. That is cheaper than what many auto-rickshaws charge in the country.
5. N.A.S.A. took 5 years to complete its “Maven” Mars Orbiter. The I.S.R.O. took just 15 months to complete Mangalyaan.
6. They even managed to make it weigh about 1,350 kilograms. That’s less than your average S.U.V.
7. The odds were stacked against us. Of the 51 Mars missions attempted across the world so far, only 21 have succeeded. But we nailed it.
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8. India will join the U.S, Europe and Russia in an elite group of countries to have successfully undertaken a mission to Mars.
9. The success of the mission will solidify India’s reputation as a competent and low cost base for sophisticated engineering.
10. And by the way, this happened. Awesomeness!