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Space

Iran Press TV

India puts satellite into Mars orbit

Iran Press TV

Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:4AM GMT

India has successfully placed a satellite into Mars' orbit, becoming the fourth country to conduct the interplanetary mission.

India's scientist burst into boisterous cheers Wednesday morning as the orbiter's engines completed a 24-minute burn time and slowly moved into its designated location around the red planet.

The Mangalyaan robotic probe, reportedly among the least expensive interplanetary missions ever attempted, is to begin its task of studying Mars' atmosphere.

The total cost of the mission has been estimated at 4.5 billion rupees or about $74 million, making it one of the cheapest interplanetary space missions ever.

Meanwhile, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the country's first Mars probe, describing the achievement as "near impossible."

Speaking at the southern city of Bangalore's mission control center, Modi stated, "The odds were stacked against us. Of 51 missions attempted in world only 21 have succeeded. We have prevailed."

"We have gone beyond the boundaries of human enterprise and innovation," he further underlined. "We have navigated our craft through a route known to very few."

So far, only Russia, the US and Europe have sent missions into Mars' orbit, but India is the first nation to succeed on its first try.

The latest US satellite, Maven, arrived at Mars on Monday.

The Mangalyaan probe is to begin taking pictures of the planet and studying its atmosphere.

MFB/HJL/HRB



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