Mangalyaan has arrived!

The Mars Orbiter Mission “Mangalyaan” is now in orbit around Mars, making India the fifth agency* to put a spacecraft in orbit there and setting a new record for the total number of probes operating simultaneously at another world: seven.  In reverse order of arrival, they are Mangalyaan, MAVEN, Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, Mars Express, and Mars Odyssey 2001 (which holds the longevity record, currently closing in on its 13th anniversary at Mars).

Congragulations, India!  You’re past the hardest part of the mission.

 

*I say “agency” because the fourth was ESA, a cooperative venture between European nations, and the second was the USSR, which no longer exists but whose space program is still maintained by Russia

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