Bangalore: The success of India's Mars mission is "a shining symbol of what we are capable of as a nation" and we have gone beyond boundaries of human enterprise and imagination, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi here Wednesday.
India Wednesday became the first country in the world whose spacecraft entered the Red Planet's orbit on its maiden flight.
History has been created by the Indian scientists reaching Mars in the first attempt, said Modi Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) entered the orbit of the Red Planet Wednesday morning after travelling for over nine months and traversing a distance of over 650 million km in deep space.
"India is first to have succeeded in the very first attempt. The success of the space programme is a shining symbol of what we are capable of as a nation," Modi said as he addressed scientists after witnessing the insertion procedure at ISRO here.
Congratulating the space scientists, he said: "With today's spectacular success, ISRO joins an elite group, of only three other agencies worldwide to have successfully reached the Red Planet."
Modi, wearing a red coloured jacket, said that the "odds were stacked against us".
"Of the 51 missions attempted across the world so far, a mere 21 had succeeded. But we have prevailed," he said.
He remarked that he had chosen to be present at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), unmindful of success or failure of the mission.
"Travelling an incredible distance, of over 650 million or 65 crore km, we have gone beyond boundaries, of human enterprise and imagination," he said.
Praising the scientists, he asked them to set even more challenging targets for themselves, and added that he was confident they would be able to achieve even those targets.
"You (ISRO) have made a habit of achieving the impossible. Modern India must continue playing its role of Jagadguru Bharat," he said.
He described the Mars Orbiter Mission as an indigenous pan-Indian effort, stretching from Bangalore to Bhubaneswar, and Faridabad to Rajkot.
"A successful space programme generates applications across multiple domains. The efforts of India's space scientists are deepening our governance, strengthening our economy and improving our lives," Modi said.
Also read: 10 interesting facts about planet Mars
Noting that the whole nation celebrates when the cricket team wins a tournament, the prime minister described the success of the MOM as "thousand times greater" and said all Indians must celebrate the success of our space scientists today.
"Let India celebrate the achievements of its scientists. Let students in every school and college applaud their efforts," he added.