Partner Series

Welcome to "On This Day ... in Space!" where we peer back in our archives to find historic moments in spaceflight and astronomy. So enjoy a blast from the past with's Hanneke Weitering to look back at what happened on this day in space!

On Sept. 24, 2014, India's first interplanetary mission entered into orbit around Mars

India's First Mars Mission in Pictures

The Indian Space Research Organisation's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan (Sanskrit for "Mars Craft"), spent 10 months getting to Mars after it launched. It was mostly a technology demonstration that India's space agency orchestrated to prove they could send a spacecraft to Mars. But it also has some cameras and scientific instruments to collect data about the Red Planet.

India launched its Mars orbiter mission on Nov. 5, 2013 atop a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle primarily as a demonstration mission to show that the ISRO could build a spacecraft capable of reaching the Red Planet. The $74 million mission was designed to snap photographs of Mars and study the planet's atmosphere for up to 10 months, but did perform science for over a year and continues to orbit the Red Planet. 

How India's First Mars Mission Works

The orbiter's science orbit circles Mars on an extreme path, approaching as close as 227 miles (365 kilometers) and extending as far out as 49,710 miles (80,000 km). It takes the spacecraft about 77 hours to complete one orbit.

8 Cool Destinations That Future Mars Tourists Could Explore

NASA's Mars InSight Lander: 10 Surprising Facts

Life on Mars? Top 10 Martians of All Time

Catch up on our entire "On This Day In Space" series on YouTube with this playlist.

Email Hanneke Weitering at or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @SpacedotcomFacebook and Google+