Mars Indians

After a journey of 300 days and 420 million miles, an Indian satellite has arrived in orbit around Mars. To have done so on an economy ticket – at $74m “the cheapest interplanetary mission ever to be undertaken by the world”, according to the mission’s leader – only adds to the significance of the event.India’s space agency – the Indian Space Research Organisation – is a late entrant to the space race, and the success of Mangalyaan (“Mars craft” in Hindi) makes the country an Asian leader in space exploration, if not yet a global one. The mission has been received with delight on India’s social media and across its political spectrum, where “national pride” is the watchword.

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