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Low-cost Indian mission to Mars blasts off

Published Tue, Nov 5, 2013 · 10:00 PM
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[NEW DELHI] India launched its first rocket to Mars yesterday, aiming to reach the red planet at a much lower cost than successful missions by other nations, positioning the emerging Asian giant as a budget player in the latest global space race.

The Mars Orbiter Mission's red and white striped rocket blasted off from the south-eastern coast, streaking across the sky in a blazing trail, and is scheduled to orbit Mars by next September.

The mission plans to study the Martian surface and mineral composition as well as search the atmosphere for methane, the chemical strongly tied to life on Earth.

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