Mars is a busy place right now. A new US mission arrived a few days ago, and today an Indian spacecraft entered orbit around Mars.
India has successfully put a satellite into orbit around Mars, becoming the fourth country to do so.
The Mangalyaan robotic probe, one of the cheapest interplanetary missions $74 million] ever, will soon begin work studying the Red Planet’s atmosphere.
Only the US, Europe and Russia have previously sent missions to Mars, but India is the first country to succeed on its first attempt.
One key goal is to try to detect methane in the Martian air, which could be an indicator of biological activity at, or more likely just below, the surface.
Mars has sometimes been referred to as the “death planet” because so many missions there have failed. Only 42% of attempts to reach Mars have succeeded.