The Sept. 24 capture of India’s first interplanetary spacecraft into Mars orbit marks another significant achievement for the rising space power.
The Mangalyaan probe, like India’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter that flew in 2008, symbolizes the expanding frontiers and potential of a space program that grew up on down-to-Earth applications like resource mapping, weather monitoring and communications. The
Indian Space Research Organisation, which developed Asia’s first successful Mars mission at an estimated cost of roughly $70 million, is to be congratulated.
Perhaps by coincidence, Mangalyaan’s arrival came just three days after that of the latest U.S. visitor to the red planet, NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) probe……….[Read