On Dec. 2, 2013 India became first Asian nation to successfully launch a spacecraft that broke through Earth's orbit on its way to the red planet, Mars.
On Sept. 24, 2014 India’s $72 million mission achieved its goal to orbit Mars. India triumphed in its first interplanetary mission, placing a satellite into orbit around Mars, catapulting the country into an elite club of deep-space explorers that includes the United States, Russia, China, and Elon Musk.
Scientists broke into wild cheers as the orbiter's engines completed 24 minutes of burn time to maneuver the spacecraft into its designated place around the red planet.
While this is a remarkable achievement for the nation of 1.2 billion. India, which possesses almost 1/7 of the world’s population, is still a low income country with an average wage of less than $400 per year. From a financial standpoint, the mission was the cheapest ever as Indian scientists relied on technologies they had used before and as Earth 2 Orbit’s Amaresh Kollipara said to NPR: “It’s essentially buying a Honda Civic versus buying a Mercedes S-Class.” The Indian craft has fewer cameras than the type of craft NASA would use.