India’s groundbreaking Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft reached the Mars orbit earlier today and, to celebrate, the satellite has launched its own Twitter account.
“India’s first mission to Mars,” reads the Twitter bio for @MarsOrbiter. “Orbiting the Red Planet since Sep 24, 2014. Explorer. Loves science, photography and long cruises.”
What is red, is a planet and is the focus of my orbit? pic.twitter.com/HDRWjOcPus
— ISRO's Mars Orbiter (@MarsOrbiter) September 24, 2014
Launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for just $74 million – less than it cost to make the film Gravity, and a buck or two shy of NASA’s $671 million mission to Mars – the affectionately-named MOM has accomplished two key goals for India. One, that they could pull off such a technical feat, and two, that they’ve beaten China to Mars.
“The odds were stacked against us,” said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the mission. “When you are trying to do something that has not been attempted before, it is a leap into the unknown. And space is indeed the biggest unknown out there.”