Weekly Space News: Mars, For Only $74 Million
Did you know that India sent a mission to Mars…for only $74 million US?
That’s actually less than the cost of either of the Hollywood films “Gravity” or “The Martian.” And this is an actual space mission!
The Mangalyaan spacecraft earned India the honor of being the first country to succeed on their inaugural Mars attempt. Also known as the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), the spacecraft entered Mars orbit in 2014, and has been taking measurements & images of Mars ever since.
For comparison, NASA’s MAVEN Mars orbiter mission cost $671 million, and the European Space Agency‘s complete ExoMars program costs $1.3 billion (including the 2020 lander).
It’s an exciting era for space, as both private space efforts (like the Google Lunar XPRIZE teams), and government efforts (like the $74 million Mangalyaan), drive down the cost of space exploration.
And when the cost becomes low enough, space will become accessible to anyone who has looked up at the stars and yearned for adventure.
Author: Nick Azer ; Editor: Susan Emmer