India Launches Orbiter to Mars


India Launches Orbiter to Mars

India on Tuesday joined the U.S., Japan, Russia and the European Space Agency as the only countries or organization to launch a spacecraft to Mars to study the red planet.

This is India's first interplanetary mission and the orbiter was launched from Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

The spacecraft known as Mangalyaan showcases india's approach to low-cost technology. The mission is reported to have cost 4.5 billion-rupee (USD 73 million). The spacecraft will take about 300 days to reach Mars and if safely injected into orbit will search for methane in the Martian atmosphere.

You can follow the mission on ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission website.

Editor's note: Contrary to reports on media sites such as the BBC, Al Jazeera etc. China has not launched a spacecraft to Mars. The failed 2011 launch of the Russian Phobos-Grunt mission did include a Chinese scientific payload. However the launch was on a Russian Zenith rocket. As well the original mission did not include China as a partner. This was a Russian mission with China joining the mission years later simply as a participant.

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