India's space program announced Wednesday that it successfully put a spacecraft into orbit around Mars. The feat not only marks one big step for the space program, but also one giant leap for Martian robot friendship.
After successfully entering Mars' orbit this week, India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft was immediately greeted with a "tweet" around 3 a.m. GMT Wednesday by a fellow Mars explorer, NASA's Curiosity rover, prompting what may have been the best Twitter exchange ever:
— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) September 24, 2014
Howdy @MarsCuriosity ? Keep in touch. I'll be around.
— ISRO's Mars Orbiter (@MarsOrbiter) September 24, 2014
"Brilliant! Mars Orbiter interacting with Mars Curiosity. That's the beauty of Twitter," commented Twitter user Jitendra Jain after seeing the friendly exchange between MOM and Curiosity.
Meanwhile, a Redditor with the username "oldterribleman," quipped on Wednesday, "This is the kind of thing that unites humanity and for a moment erases borders. Bravo!"
Within the first four hours of launching its Twitter account, @MarsOrbiter had more than 32,000 followers, BBC News reported. And, the hashtags #IndiaAtMars, #marsorbitormission and #Martian were among the top 10 Twitter trends in India.
This was India's first attempt to get the spacecraft -- also called Mangalyaan, which means "Mars craft" in Hindi -- into the Red Planet's orbit, making the country the first Asian nation to successfully to do so.
The orbiter is expected to circle Mars for at least six months, using solar-powered instruments to collect scientific data from the Red Planet's atmosphere.