India's Cheap Mars Spacecraft Just Sent Back Its Very First Photo


afp indias spacecraft beams back first mars photos


One of the first images captured by India's Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft.


The first photo of Mars from India's Mangalyaan spacecraft was posted to Facebook on Thursday by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

Check out the view in the photo above from a height of 4,000 miles.

The image is, well, kind of meh compared to something like what we've seen from NASA's Curiosity rover, but it's still impressive, especially considering the satellite's bargain price and the limited resources available to India's space program.

India was able to build the craft on the cheap by modeling it using computer software instead of constructing physical prototypes. The $74 million project was relatively inexpensive by space standards. It even cost less than the most expensive flat ever sold in London or the budget for the film "Gravity."


An ISRO official told the AFP that "spacecraft is working well" and has already beamed back several pictures.

The Mangalyaan probe entered Mars' orbit on Wednesday, making India the first Asian country to successfully reach the red planet.