India's Mangalyaan orbiter enters Martian orbit and makes history
mars-orbit
Image: Indian Space Research Organisation

India has joined the United States, Europe and the former Soviet Union in making it successfully to Mars. The Mangalyaan orbiter entered Martian atmosphere on Wednesday at around 8am for Indian spectators, which was just after midday today in Australia.

"History has been created today. We have dared, to reach out, into the unknown," said Indian prime minister Narendra Modi in a public statement. 

Mangalyaan is India’s first interplanetary mission, and was launched on 5 November 2013 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). According to the ISRO website, the primary objective of the Mars Orbiter Mission is to showcase the country's rocket launch systems, spacecraft-building and operations capabilities, and explore the surface features, morphology, mineralogy and atmosphere of Mars.

"No one represents this zeal for exploring the unknown more than our space scientists here at ISRO,” said Modi.

NASA’s Mars Rover has already welcomed its new planet-mate on Twitter: "Namaste, @MarsOrbiter! Congratulations to @ISRO and India's first interplanetary mission upon achieving Mars orbit."

You can see the Prime Minister's statement, and a live blog of the landing, by heading to the Times of India website.