I posted yesterday about the MOM, India's first (and successful) satellite mission to Mars. What is even more extraordinary is the price tag: almost a tenth of the cost of the MAVEN satellite that it joined in orbit around Mars.
I found it interesting that aerospace engineers in India get about an eighth of the salary ($10k) of their American counterparts ($76k), and the difference between the two missions is pretty close to this ratio. That being said, MAVEN is a lot more science-capable, with a bigger payload of more precise instruments. It does nonetheless hint that the price of space exploration is on the way down.
The $74 million Mars Orbiter Mission, also known by the acronym MOM or the Hindi word Mangalyaan ("Mars-Craft"), didn't just cost less than the $100 million Hollywood blockbuster starring Sandra Bullock. The price tag is a mere one-ninth of the cost of NASA's $671 million Maven mission, which also put its spacecraft into Mars orbit this week.