India's Space Probe Successfully Enters Mars Orbit

By Chris Mills on at

India just cemented its place as a space power, and put NASA's billions to shame, with the news that its $74 million (£43m) space probe just entered Mars orbit.

The Mangalyaan spacecraft dropped into orbit following a burn at 10:30 EST, making India the first country to successfully reach Mars orbit on the first try. Actually, the history of Mars missions makes for sobering reading: the first three missions failed to even reach Earth orbit, and it took until Mariner 9 for the USA to get a probe into successful orbit without anything accidentally blowing up.

By contrast, Mangalyaan has been run on a shoestring budget and managed to reach orbit first time round. For a full list of updates, you can follow the Indian Space Research Organisation's page here. [ISRO]