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Indian Mars Probe Reaches Earth's Orbit


An Indian security troop patrols near the PSLV-C25 launch vehicle, carrying the Mars Orbiter probe as its payload, at the Indian Space Research Organization facility in Sriharikota on October 30.
India has launched a spacecraft to Mars.

An Indian-built rocket carrying an unmanned probe, named the Mars Orbiter Mission, blasted off from the Sriharikota spaceport off India's southeastern coast on November 5.

A short time later, it delivered the 1,350-kilogram probe, also known as Mangalyaan ("Mars Craft" in Hindi), into Earth orbit, where it will remain for about a month.

It is to eventually travel some 780 million kilometers over 300 days to reach Mars in September 2014 and study its atmosphere.

If successful, India would be only the fourth country or group of countries to visit Mars, after the Soviet Union, United States, and Europe.

India is hoping the $80 million mission will showcase its low-cost space technology.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP