India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) successfully entered the Martian orbit late Tuesday. It made India the first Asian nation to reach the red planet, and put it in the elite ‘Mars club’ that also includes the U.S., Europe and Russia. India was the only country to succeed in its first attempt. But its neighbor China said Thursday that the country won’t feel “jealous” of India’s Mars success. Instead, Chinese state media said they have “myriad reasons” to feel delighted at their neighbor’s achievement.
MOM begins sending pictures of Mars surface
In less than 24 hours of entering the Martian orbit, MOM beamed back over a dozen quality pictures of the red planet, showing its crater-marked surface. The images were captured from a height of 4,536 miles. ISRO senior scientist V. Koteswara Rao said the spacecraft was working well. It will also take pictures of two moons of the red planet and send them back.
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State-run Chinese daily Global Times said China still boasts of much more economic, social and technological development than India. The world’s most populous nation had launched its Mars exploratory probe Yinghuo-1 aboard a Russian rocket in 2011. But the spacecraft went missing a year after its launch. Yesterday, Chinese Foreign Ministry congratulated India, and hailed its achievement as “price of Asia.”
China hopes its Yinghua-1 Mars mission to succeed in the future
Xinhua news agency said the total cost of India’s Mars mission was just $74 million, even less than the cost of making a Hollywood movie. Global Times said if India can reach Mars, it’s quite possible than China’s own Yinghuo-2 will succeed in the future. The state-run agency said India’s Mars Orbiter gives China “more affirmation than a sense of competition.”
Bilateral cooperation between China and India is entering the “prime stage,” so any conflict of interest is much less serious, said Global Times. China has successfully launched unmanned missions to the moon and manned missions into space.