Indian rover begins journey to Mars

The Indian spacecraft, launched a month ago, has been propelled on a 10-month journey to Mars after orbiting the Earth to gain the required momentum.
By Ananth Baliga   |   Dec. 2, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Dec. 2 (UPI) -- The Indian Space Research Organization's Mars Orbiter Mission, also called Mangalyaan, was ejected from the Earth's orbit on a 10-month journey to Mars.

The spacecraft, launched early November, was orbiting Earth to develop the required velocity to propel it to Mars. The spacecraft will now cruise for 422 million miles before reaching the planet's atmosphere.

Isro, India's space agency, said the MOM had crossed the distance of the Moon's orbit, the farthest an Indian spacecraft has ever gone. Scientists used a coded signal to calculate the delay between sending the signal and receiving it from the spacecraft.

"MOM is now the farthest object sent into space by India," Indian Space Research Organization announced on Monday.

The $72 million mission is sending a Mars rover to, among other things, investigate the presence of methane gas on Mars, an indicator of possible Martian microbes living below the surface of the planet.

[BBC] [The Times of India]

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