How India Mounted the World’s Cheapest Mission to Mars

If India’s Mangalyaan space probe successfully enters an orbit around Mars on Wednesday, the country will have made history – twice.


(UPDATE: India’s satellite entered Mars orbit on Wednesday morning.)


It will be the only nation so far to reach Mars on its first attempt. It will also have spent the least amount of money to do so.


India’s Mars mission has a price tag of about $74 million, a fraction of the $671 million cost of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s latest Mars program.


A success would be an important advertisement for a business India hopes to enter: sending satellites and spacecraft aloft at a fraction of the cost of U.S. and European competitors.


In June, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi boasted that India has spent less to reach Mars than Hollywood producers spent on the movie “Gravity,” which cost $100 million to make.


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Date added: 
Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 10:00am