New York: Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures while addressing the audience during a reception organised in his honour by the Indian American Community Foundation at Madison Square Garden in New York on Sunday

India’s ride to Mangalyaan is cheaper than auto fare in Ahmedabad, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Madison Square Garden, New York. He metaphorically compared the Mangalyaan to an auto rickshaw in Ahmedabad and said that India is the only country to reach Mars in its maiden attempt.

“A one-km auto rickshaw ride in Ahmadabad takes Rs 10 and India reached Mars at a cost of Rs 7 per km, which is really amazing,” the Prime Minister said. He also included that India is a country that has talented youth and potential to become one of the leading countries in the near future. “India is the only country to reach Mars on its first attempt. If this is not talent, then what it is?” he added.

Talking about the Indian talent, he said that the scientists in the country are so capable that they were able to maintain the overall costs for the Mangalyaan mission.”Everything about Mangalyaan is indigenous. We reached Mars at a smaller budget than a Hollywood movie,” he said, “While sci-fi blockbuster Gravity’s estimated cost is $100 million, India successfully completed first phase of the mission in less than $75 million”.

India joined the elite club of three nations, by successfully placing its probe into Mar’s orbit on 24 September 2014. European, American and Russian probes have managed to orbit or land on the planet, but after several attempts.

India’s interplanetary mission, Mars Orbiter Mission(MOM), costs ten times less than the NASA’s Maven, which is around a whopping $671 million. Prime Minister, who fostered the mission, was present at ISRO’s headquarters in Bangalore to celebrate the success. Combined data collected by India’s Mangalyaan and NASA’s Maven may answer the long unanswered question, “ How the transition from moist and warm planet to dry and cold planet took place on Mars”. It may also spew some clues on the future and life of the Earth.

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