Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Why Burkina Faso matters

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Will 'Evil Clowns' disrupt French Halloween?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Palestinian territories: Can there be an end to the historic conflict? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Palestinian territories: Can there be an end to the historic conflict?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#IKEAgate?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Undiplomatic Language

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Zambian President Michael Sata dies aged 77

Read more

FOCUS

Lebanon: Syrian civil war spillover heightens tensions in Tripoli

Read more

ENCORE!

Art show: From Frank Gehry's glass sails to Paul McCarthy's sex toys

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)