>> Creating history, ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) on Wednesday successfully entered the orbit of the red planet. With this, India has become the first nation in the world to have entered the Mars orbit in the first attempt. ISRO's MOM is also the cheapest such mission till now.
>> Indian Space Research Organisation's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft started orbiting the red planet at 7.47am, but it was only 12 minutes later —because of a time delay in radio signals travelling the 680 million km -- that scientists at Isro Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network in Bangalore, could erupt in joy as Prime Minister Narendra Modi stood a happy witness.
>> The scientists had waited for more than 300 days as MOM journeyed on through space, but the last 54 minutes were virtually unbearable. For, it was during this period that the orbiter first reoriented itself and then fired its engine and thrusters for about 24 minutes to get into the Mars orbit.
>> Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the Isro scientists over the success. "MOM never disappoints," he told applauding scientists at the Isro Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network in Bangalore. "India is the first country to get this right in the first attempt," he said.
>> With MOM successfully entering the red planet's orbit, ISRO on Wednesday also launched the MOM's official Twitter handle, @MarsOrbiter.
>> With the success of Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), India has joined the United States, European Space Agency and the former Soviet Union in the elite club of Martian explorers.
>> Interestingly, India's MOM is also the world's cheapest inter-planetary mission costing around Rs 450 crores or 74 million USD, which is a tenth of NASA's Mars mission MAVEN that entered the Martian orbit on September 22.
>> It aims to study Mars' surface and mineral composition, and scan its atmosphere for methane with the help of scientific instruments.