“MOM never disappoints”, was how Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation at the successful insertion of the maiden Mars Orbit Mission (MOM) into the Martian orbit. September 24, 2014, at 07.47 IST, the spacecraft Mangalyaan started orbiting the Red Planet and 12 minutes later, the signal was received at the Mission Control Centre.
It was indeed a remarkable achievement by any standard. With this success, India joined an elite club of three—Russia, the US and the European Space Agency—to have put a spacecraft into the Martian orbit. Noteworthily, it has been able to do it in its first attempt and at a fraction of the cost of missions by other nations. The total cost was about Rs 450 crore (US $75 million).