Google doodle celebrates Mangalyaan's one month in Mars Orbit
Google put up a static image of the Mangalyaan (also know as the Mars Orbiter Mission) as its doodle on Friday to celebrate the completion of a month since it entered the Mars orbit.
Given that Google normally comes up with doodles to mark annual events, this is a rare gesture by the search engine. The doodle will be visible only in India.
India was the first Asian country and the fourth space power after the US, Europe and Russia to send a spacecraft to Mars. It was the first country to succeed in its maiden attempt.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the Mars mission as a major achievement. "History has been created today. We have achieved the near impossible. I congratulate all ISRO scientists and all my fellow Indians on this historic achievement," he said on the day Mangalyaan entered the Mars orbit.
It was one of the cheapest Mars missions to have been undertaken so far, as it cost only $74 million.
Mangalyaan has five instruments aboard: a camera, two spectrometers, a radiometer and a photometer. It will study the martian surface, its mineral composition and scan its atmosphere for methane gas.
The Mangalyaan was launched on 5 November, 2013, on board a polar rocket from the country's only spaceport at Sriharikota, about 80 kilometres northeast of Chennai. It left the Earth orbit on December 1, 2013.