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Mangalyaan is Amongst The 25 Best Inventions of 2014

Mangalyaan, India's Mars Orbiter Mission, is prepared for its Nov. 5, 2013 launch into space.

TIME’s annual round-up of the best inventions making the world better, smarter has picked Mangalyaan is Amongst The 25 Best Inventions of 2014. Developed by Indian Space Research Organization, this is an scientific marvel.

Nobody gets Mars right on the first try. The U.S. didn’t, Russia didn’t, the Europeans didn’t. But on Sept. 24, India did. That’s when the Mangalyaan (Mars craft in Hindi) went into orbit around the Red Planet, a technological feat no other Asian nation has yet achieved. Building the craft cost India just $74 million, less than the budget for the film Gravity.

The Mangalyaan is equipped with just five onboard instruments that allow it to do simple tasks like measure Martian methane and surface composition. More important, however, it allows India to flex its interplanetary muscles, which portends great things for the country’s space program—and for science in general.

Mangalyaan mission not only achieved it in the first go, but more importantly they did it at shoestring budget. Just to give you an idea, NASA’s maven that arrived in Mars orbit on Sept 21st cost them $671 million compared to ISRO’s Mangalyaan that has cost only $74 million

Mangalyaan mission not only achieved it in the first go, but more importantly they did it at shoestring budget. Just to give you an idea, NASA’s maven that arrived in Mars orbit on Sept 21st cost them $671 million compared to ISRO’s Mangalyaan that has cost only $74 million

With Mangalyaan in the Mars orbit, India joins the US, the European Space Agency and Russia in the elite club of Martian explorers.

ISRO staff celebrate after Mangalyaan successfully enters the Mars orbit (Agence France-Presse photo)

ISRO staff celebrate after Mangalyaan successfully enters the Mars orbit (Agence France-Presse photo)

Scientists behind Mangalyaan success are Indian educated. No foreign degree holders was part of the mission.

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