what the Mangalyaan mission means

Date: 24/09/2014

Space exploration in numbers:

what the Mangalyaan mission means for the future of space missions

As India successfully completes a maiden mission to Mars, the Telegraph puts this historic moment, which was done on a minimal budget, into context

By Keely Lockhart, and AP5:11PM BST 24 Sep 2014Comments

India has triumphed in its first interplanetary mission, placing a satellite into orbit around Mars and catapulting the country into an elite club of deep-space explorers.

India was particularly proud that MOM was developed with homegrown technology and for a bargain price of about 45 million - compared with Nasa's 1.5 billion for its Maven orbiter.

As Nasa winds down its manned missions, it's likely that countries such as China, and private investors will take up the baton - with companies such as Elon Musk's SpaceX and Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic plan their first suborbital flights.

Meanwhile, Britain continues so feed money into the European Space Agency - which is currently monitoring the Rosetta spacecraft which it plans to land on a comet.

Getting a spaceship successfully into orbit around Mars is no easy task. More than half the world's previous attempts - 23 out of 41 missions - have failed. India wanted this spacecraft, also called Mangalyaan, meaning "Mars craft" in Hindi, to be a global advertisement for its ability in designing, planning and managing a difficult, deep-space mission.