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.

Allan Boyle has written an interesting piece on this for NBC, and Krishna Pillai has a more detailed comparison of the two on his blog.

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.