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Mangalyaan, the Cheapest Mars Mission Ever

As India closes in on its destination Mars with the Mangalyaan satellite, many across the world have been dumbstruck at the low cost of India’s Mars Orbiter mission. Here are the details on how India achieved this seemingly impossible task, becoming the envy of the world.

This golden satellite, approximately the size of a Nano car, and the entire Mars Orbiter mission have been made ready at a record cost ofRs. 450 crore or nearly $67 million dollars.

Put together by the Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO in a record time of 15 months, it has been on a 300-day marathon, covering some 670 million kilometres to reach its destination Mars. This is undoubtedly the lowest-cost inter-planetary mission ever to be undertaken in the world.

On his recent visit to India’s rocket port in June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had remarked, “The Hollywood movie Gravity cost more than our Mars mission – this is a great achievement.”

NASA’s latest mission to Mars called MAVEN, which incidentally reached the Red Planet on Monday ahead of the Indian satellite, costs ten times more.

“This has been a cheap mission. But we have not compromised; we have done it in two years and ground testing has helped,” said K Radhakrishnan, Chairman of ISRO.

The darling of Martian dreamers — American rover Curiosity which has been sitting on the surface of the Red Planet — cost over a whopping 2 billion dollars. India’s technological capabilities and frugal bills have help cut costs.

Mangalyaan is the cheapest inter-planetary mission ever to be undertaken anywhere in the world. It has cost Rs. 450 crores or just about Rs. 4 per person in India. India is paving the way for faster, cheaper and possibly durable inter-planetary missions.

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