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India prepares to launch country's maiden mission to Mars

Sept. 9, 2013 at 8:34 PM   |   Comments

NEW DELHI, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Indian officials have confirmed a November launch date for the country's first mission to Mars, set to launch from a spaceport in the south of the country.

"Hectic preparations are on to launch Indian Space Research Organization's ambitious Mars Orbiter Mission in November," U.R. Rao of the Governing Council of Physical Research Laboratory said.

The Mangalyaan Mars probe will lift off from the Indian Space Research Organization's launch site at Sriharikota, China's Xinhua news agency reported Sunday.

"The Mars Orbiter Mission will be sent through powerful PSLV-XL launch vehicle," Rao said.

A successful launch would make India the sixth country to initiate a mission to Mars after the United States, Russia, Europe, China and Japan.

"The unmanned mission, which will explore the existence of life and the possibility of sustaining life on Mars, will travel 299 days in space before reaching the Red Planet in September 2014," Rao said.

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