Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Spain struggles to tackle violence against women

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

How drones are transforming the battleground in Syria

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: The Netflix debate, 'Faces Places' and 'Marnie'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Over 8,000 migrants rescued from Mediterranean in 48 hours

Read more

THE DEBATE

Farewell to arms? Crucial step for Colombia peace process

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Angela Merkel softens resistance to gay marriage

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Medically assisted procreation for everyone?'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Tracking the ransom payments amid latest global cyberattack

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

EU fines Google €2.4bn over shopping service

Read more

Asia-pacific

Indian rocket to Mars successfully enters Earth's orbit

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-05

India's first mission to Mars completed its first stage on Tuesday, successfully entering an elliptical orbit around the Earth 44 minutes after take-off, the Indian Space Research Organisation announced.

India's first mission to Mars completed its first stage on Tuesday, successfully entering orbit around Earth 44 minutes after lift-off, the national space agency announced.

The launch rocket "has placed the Mars Orbiter spacecraft very precisely into an elliptical orbit around Earth", the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K. Radhakrishnan announced.

The 350-tonne launch vehicle carrying an unmanned probe was monitored by dozens of scientists in the control room who are facing their most daunting task since India began its space programme in 1963.

The country has never before attempted interplanetary travel and more than half of all missions to Mars have ended in failure, including China's in 2011 and Japan's in 2003.

The Mars Orbiter Mission, known as Mangalyaan in India, was announced only 15 months ago by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, shortly after China's attempt flopped when it failed to leave Earth's atmosphere.

The gold-coloured probe, the size of a small car, will aim to detect methane in the Martian atmosphere. It has been hurriedly assembled and is being carried by a rocket much smaller than its US or Russian equivalents.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-11-05

COMMENT(S)