India has won the Asian space race, sending an orbiter to mars before both Japan and China. The impressive program was put together very quickly — over a period of just a few months. No other country has succeeded at sending an orbiter to Mars on its first try.  The feat was also especially impressive because it was accomplished on a $74 million dollar budget. (NASA’s last mission to Mars cost the US $671 million.)

But winning the space race is more than just a matter of national pride; India hopes that the impressive accomplishment will draw further attention to India’s low-cost tech skills (currently already the nations greatest export) and boost their economy.

“Our success on Mars is a crucial marketing opportunity for low-cost technological know-how, which is what we do really well,” said C. Uday Bhaskar, an analyst with the Society for Policy Studies, a New Delhi research center. India’s space program “spent peanuts, and they got it done.”

With so much distraction and anxiety governing the international climate right now will putting an orbiter on Mars succeed at drawing the attention of the international community with enough force to boost India’s economy?

On a Shoestring, Inda Sends Orbiter to Mars on Its First Try