Indian Space Probe Makes It Into Mars’ Orbit


In an historic moment for the Indian space program, the Mangalyaan unmanned satalite has made it into orbit around Mars – not only the first ever space program to achieve Mars orbit on its first attempt, but the cheapest to date. Costing Rs.450 crore – which at around £45 million is cheaper than the ill fated HS2 line has cost so far  – sorry – let's just have that again: India sent a satalite to bloody MARS for less than it's cost the UK to unsuccesfully build a railway from London to Birmingham. While we're on the comparisons, Iain Duncan Smith's cack handed attempts to implement the Universal Credit Scheme are going to cost around £12 billion. I'd rather he'd gone to Mars tbh.

Anyway, India's prime minister Narendra Modi is understandably jubilant.  

"History has been created today. We have achieved the near impossible. I congratulate all ISRO scientists and all my fellow Indians on this historic achievement," Mr Modi said,

"The odds, were stacked against us. Of the 51 missions attempted across the world so far, a mere 21 had succeeded. But we have prevailed…We built it indigenously, in a pan-Indian effort, stretching from Bangalore to Bhubhaneshwar, and Faridabad to Rajkot,"

Here's the rocket before it set off, looking curiously like an Easter egg for Martians – 

mangalyaan satallite

In a strangely touching twist to the story, the Mangalyaan was greeted by NASA's Curiosity Rover from the surface of the Red Planet.

"Namaste, @MarsOrbiter!" it tweeted like an old robotic pal, "Congratulations to @ISRO and India's first interplanetary mission upon achieving Mars orbit."