India's space agency has released its first picture of Mars, taken by its satellite which entered orbit around the Red Planet on Wednesday. "The view is nice up here," tweeted @isro. A handful of images have been sent by the Mangalyaan probe so far. Part of its mission is to study the Martian atmosphere for signs of life. It is the first time a maiden voyage to Mars has entered orbit successfully and it is the cheapest. Nasa's latest Maven mission cost almost 10 times as much. Media in India have hailed the venture as a "historic achievement".
The Hindu newspaper reported that the probe had "beamed back about 10 pictures of the Red Planet's surface which show some craters". Officials were quoted by the newspaper as saying the pictures were of "good quality" India's space programme has succeeded at the first attempt where others have failed - by sending an operational mission to Mars. It is, without doubt, a considerable achievement. This is a mission that has been budgeted at 4.5bn rupees ($74m), which, by Western standards, is staggeringly cheap.
The American Maven orbiter that arrived at the Red Planet on Monday is costing almost 10 times as much.Back in June, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi even quipped that India's real-life Martian adventure was costing less than the make-believe Hollywood film Gravity.
INC News, 25/09/2014-via BBC