Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Anticipating the debate

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Abubakar Shekau says he is still leading Boko Haram

Read more

THE DEBATE

Peace at last? Colombia, FARC rebels sign historic peace accord (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Peace at last? Colombia, FARC rebels sign historic peace accord (part 2)

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Mykki Blanco, Van Morrison & The Weeknd’s duo with Daft Punk

Read more

FOCUS

FRANCE 24 exclusive: The last stand for Libya’s Oil Crescent

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Greece’s minister of tourism: ‘Tourism is a government priority’

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Terrorism, strike actions and migrant crisis: Is the EU becoming less attractive to tourists?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Moody's cuts Turkey's credit rating to junk

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)