India set a big record this week after becoming the only country to reach Mars – with an operational mission – at the first attempt.
The recently elected prime minister of the South Asian nation congratulated the scientists of the state-run Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for accomplishing what he called a "near impossible" mission.
"History has been created today," said Narendra Modi, soon after it was announced that the mission had been accomplished.
"We have dared to reach out into the unknown and have achieved the near impossible," he said, at the space command centre in the southern city of Bangalore.
However, the successful maiden attempt isn’t the only fascinating thing about the Indian space assignment – it is also one of the cheapest interplanetary missions ever undertaken.
“The Mars Orbiter Mission was achieved on a budget of $74 million, nearly a tenth of the amount the U.S. space agency NASA spent on sending the Maven spacecraft to Mars,” reports state.
And it isn’t just the American Maven orbiter.
Following is a list of things which cost more than what it has taken to get Mangalyaan to Mars. Just to put things in perspective.
Walt Disney’s Oscar-winner 2013 “Frozen” had used up an estimated $150 million budget in making the film.
In fact, it took a lot more than $74 million to produce box-office hits like Titanic ($210 million), the entire Harry Potter series ($1,155,000,000), Skyfall ($150–200 million) and – even – the Step Up films ($98,000,000).
Game of Thrones
The making of popular HBO television series “Game of Thrones” has a staggering per-episode budget of $6 million – which essentially means the total cost of the four aired seasons is far, far and far more than the Mangalyaan mission.
Also, the cast of “The Big Bang Theory” recently signed a huge $90 Million salary deal for the upcoming seasons.
Jay Z and Beyoncé Knowles
Jay Z and Beyonce Knowles became Forbes’ highest-earning celebrity couple last year with an estimated $95 million in earnings between June 2012 and June 2013.
Earlier this year in July, NBA player Carmelo Anthony signed a new five-year contract with the New York Knicks worth a reported $124 million.
J.J. Watt became the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history after signing a $100-million contract extension in September this year.
Earlier in February, Mark Zuckerberg made a business move of absolutely historic proportions when he announced that Facebook was going to buy the mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for US$19 billion.
However, most of Facebook’s acquisitions are generally worth more than $74 million.
A few weeks later after buying WhatsApp, Zuckerberg spent a whopping $2.3 billion for virtual reality headset maker Oculus Rift.
A Luxury Jumbo Jet
This luxury jumbo jet, or – as media outlets like to call it – “flying palace” cost more than $500 million when it was allegedly bought by Saudi Prince Al Waleed in 2007.
Once a humble newsletter, Thrillist became a digital media giant that now claims $100 million in annual revenue.
A Hotel In Manhattan
The luxury hotel in New York City was put on the market in 2013 at the asking price of a staggering $125 million. Although the value was adjusted to $95 million later that year, it’s still more expensive than the Indian space mission.
A Bus Service In Pakistan
India’s next-door neighbor Pakistan has not sent out a space mission yet. However, a metropolitan bus service project was launched in April that costs a staggering Rs38 billion Pakistani rupees (just under $370 million).
The budget is expected to rise even higher in the coming months.