Watched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ISRO scientists successfully ignited the main 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) and eight small thrusters that fired for 24-minutes from 7.17 AM and slowed down the speed of Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft 'Mangalyaan' for it to slip into a smooth orbit around the Red Planet after almost an year-long voyage.

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"Today MOM has met Mangal (Mars). Today Mangal has got MOM. The time this mission was short named as MOM, I was sure that MOM won’t disappoint us," Modi, who wore a red coloured jacket, said annnouncing the Rs 450 crore mission's success, after nerve-wracking final moments at the command centre of Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) here.
    
Scientists broke into wild cheers and congratulated each other after the 1,350 kg spacecraft was manoeuvred into its designated place, capping a 666 million km journey that began on November 5 last.


With the success of "Mangalyaan", India has become the first country to go to Mars in the very first try. European, American and Russian probes have managed to orbit or land on the planet, but after several attempts. The first Chinese mission to Mars, called Yinghuo-1, failed in 2011. Earlier in 1998, the Japanese mission ran out of fuel and was lost.
    
Modi, who witnessed the operation along with the space scientists, said the odds were stacked against "us with only 21 of the 51 missions to Mars being successful," but "we have prevailed".

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"Our scientists have achieved this in the first attempt. This is first time in the world. History has been created today. We have dared to reach out into the unknown and have achieved near impossible.
    
We have gone beyond the boundaries of human enterprise and innovation. We have navigated our craft through a route known to very few," Modi said in a speech in Hindi and English, congratulating the scientist and "all my fellow Indians on this historic occasion."

An elated Prime Minister patted the back of ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan and complimented the Indian space scientists for making space history.


"I have said it in the past too, the amount our scientists have spent on this mission is even less than what they spend in making Hollywood movies," he said in his address to the mission scientists.
    
At just 74 million USD, the mission less than the estimated 100 million USD budget of the sci-fi blockbuster "Gravity".
    
India's MOM is the cheapest inter-planetary mission, costing a tenth of NASA's Mars mission Maven that entered the Martian orbit on September 22.

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INDIA IN SPACE VS OTHERS

It aims to study Mars' surface and mineral composition, and scan its atmosphere for methane, a chemical strongly tied to life on Earth.
    
Given the high rate of failures --only 21 of the total of 51 missions sent to Mars by various countries being successful, the success of MOM has given a boost to India's global standing in Space.


Experts say Mars mission success can help change that.

"ISRO will now hopefully attract a lot of business," said Mayank N. Vahia, a scientist at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. "We will now attract more international attention and international trade for satellites."

Two-thirds of the craft's parts were made by Indian companies such as Larsen & Toubro and Godrej & Boyce.

Read More:Odds were stacked against us but we prevailed: Modi on Mars success
               
With 30 Indian and 40 foreign satellite launches so far, its nearest cheap competition would be China, which is armed with bigger space launchers. ISRO signed an agreement with China National Space Administration on Friday to cooperate in research and development of various satellites.    
               
Despite its success, India faces criticism for spending on space research as millions go hungry.

Following is the chronology of events that traces the journey of Mangalyaan which lasted over 300 days:

September 24, 2014: MOM reaches the intended orbit around Mars, making India the first country in the world to have successfully launched its mission to the Red Planet on the very first attempt.

September 22: MOM enters Mars' Gravitational Sphere of Influence; 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor test fired after over 300 days of dormancy; last trajectory correction manoeuvre performed.

June 11: Second course correction manoeuvre executed.

December 11, 2013: First course correction manoeuvre performed on the spacecraft.

December 4: MOM leaves Earth's Sphere of Influence of 9.25 lakh km radius.

December 1: MOM leaves Earth's orbit, Trans-Mars Injection performed.

November 16: Sixth Earth-bound manoeuvre performed.

November 12: Fifth Earth-bound manoeuvre performed.

November 11: Fourth Earth-bound manoeuvre performed.

November 9: Third Earth-bound manoeuvre performed.

November 8: Second Earth-bound manoeuvre performed.

November 7: First Earth-bound manoeuvre performed.

November 5: ISRO's PSLV C25 launches India's Mars Orbiter Mission from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

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