Thursday, September 25, 2014

India celebrates Mars mission 'cheaper than a movie'

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi led nationwide celebrations yesterday after his country became the first in the world to succesfully send a satellite to Mars on a first attempt.

The Mangalyaan satellite entered the red planet’s orbit on Tuesday evening, a day after the American MAVEN - Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN - mission.

The feat cost India a tiny fraction of the bill footed by NASA for their expedition - the US spent £410 million compared to the £45 million invested in the Indian Mars Orbiter Mission.

“A Hollywood movie costs more,” Mr Modi said as he seized on the achievement as confirmation that India is now a world leader in low cost space exploration.

The Indian prime minister had previously joked the mission’s budget was lower than Gravity, the Sandra Bullock and George Clooney sci-fi film which was £13 million more expensive. Full story...

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