Mars has always been a difficult target.
Forty-five missions have been sent: 20 from the US,
19 from Russia and the former Soviet Union,
two from the European Union,
and one each from Japan, China, and India.
Of those, only 19 have been successful. With Mangalyaan, India appears to have broken the so-called “Mars curse.”
via Design News – Blog – India's Mangalyaan Probe Reaches Mars.