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India's Space Agency Made It to Mars on the First Try

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Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:27:27 +0000
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<p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"></p><p>The Indian Space Research Organisation has just pulled off a feat that neither NASA nor Russia nor any other legacy spaceflight heavyweight has. <a href="http://www.isro.org/mars/home.aspx">India's Mars Orbiter Mission</a>, known unofficially as the <a href="http://space.io9.com/indian-becomes-4th-country-to-reach-mars-with-mangalyaa-1637844562/+katharinetrendacosta">Mangalyaan orbiter</a>, successfully dropped into orbit around Mars last night. The achievement marks the first visit to the red planet by an Asian nation and the first time anyone, anywhere, has <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_missions_to_Mars">ever made it to Mars on their first shot</a>.</p><p></p><p>The achievement is even more impressive when you consider humanity's track record with Mars, <a href="http://http://space.io9.com/indian-becomes-4th-country-to-reach-mars-with-mangalyaa-1637844562/+katharinetrendacosta">says io9</a>.</p><p></p><blockquote><p>The history of Mars exploration is fraught, making every arrival a well-earned victory. As the Prime Minister pointed out in his post-arrival remarks, of 51 attempts to reach Mars by countries around the world, only 21 have succeeded.</p></blockquote><p></p><p>Now that it's in orbit, Mangalyaan will need to go through some orbital adjustments before it is ready to start studying the planet—<a href="http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/mars-just-got-new-robotic-explorer-180952794/">much like NASA's own MAVEN satellite</a>, which also arrived at Mars earlier this week. More than anything else, though, Mangalyaan's mission was a technology test, <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/09/24/indias-mangalyaan-enters-mars-orbit/">says the <em>Wall Street Journal</em></a>—the Indian space agency just wanted to see if they could do it. </p><p></p><p></p><div></div><div><p>India joins the U.S., Russia, and the European Space Agency in the venerable club of Martian explorers, <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/09/24/indias-mangalyaan-enters-mars-orbit/">says the <em>Journal</em></a>.</p></div>
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