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The competition heats up: On Wednesday morning India’s Mars orbiter Mangalyaan successfully fired its engines and attained Mars orbit.
There are probably three dozen stories in the India press today extolling this success. And there should be. As described in detail in the second link above, India did this mission smart, simple, and fast, showing everyone else that a science mission doesn’t have to take a decade and a billion dollars to be get built.
I expect that this success will quickly lead to the Indian manned flight tests their space agency ISRO has been advocating for the past few years.