India Just Went to Mars

India Just Went to Mars

India has successfully put a satellite into orbit around Mars in the nation's first interplanetary mission, the Associated Press reports.

The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), originally called "Mangalyaan," robotic probe arrived in orbit early Tuesday evening following a 10-month cruise from Earth. 

The BBC reports that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the scientists responsible and members of the Indian Space and Research Organization. Modi said India had achieved the "near impossible by successfully reaching Mars".

"Scientists broke into wild cheers Wednesday morning as the orbiter's engines completed 24 minutes of burn time and maneuvered into its designated place around the red planet," the Associated Press notes. "The success of India's Mars Orbiter Mission, affectionately nicknamed MOM, brings India into an elite club of Martian explorers that includes United States, the European Space Agency and the former Soviet Union."