Saluting India's space scientists after its Mars mission created history, an elated Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the country has achieved the "near impossible" and prevailed though the "odds were stacked against us".
Calling the "spectacular" success of the country's space programme after today's Mars feat as a shining example of what it was capable of as a nation, Modi said it has dared to reach out into the unknown and gone beyond boundaries of human enterprise and imagination.
"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!," Modi said in his speech announcing the success of Mars Orbiter Mission(MOM) 'Mangalyaan'.
"Today MOM has met Mangal (Mars). Today Mangal has got MOM. The time this mission was short named as MOM, I was sure that MOM won't disappoint us," Modi, who wore a red-coloured jacket, told the scientists at the ISRO command centre here.
As the orbiter was placed in the orbit of the Red Planet, Modi patted the back of Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman K Radhakrishan after watching the critical final moments with space scientists.
"India has successfully reached Mars, congratulations to all of you, congratulations to countrymen. History has been created today. We have dared to reach out into the unknown. And have achieved the near impossible," said Modi, as India became the first country to succeed in the mission to Mars in the very first attempt.
"Travelling a mind-boggling distance of more than 650 million, or 65 crore kilometres, we have gone beyond the boundaries of human enterprise and imagination. We have, accurately navigated our spacecraft, through a route known to very few," he said, showering compliments on ISRO scientists.