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India at kissing distance of Mars; Indian scientists script history

By The Assam Tribune
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BANGALORE, Sept 24 (IANS): India on Wednesday created space history by becoming the first country in the world to enter Mars' orbit in its debut attempt. A beaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi, wearing a red jacket symbolic of the Red Planet, described it as "achieving the near impossible", congratulated the feat of Indian scientists and called for challenging the next frontier.

India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) traversed over 650 million km through deep space for over nine months to successfully reach the planet's orbit. The US, Europe and Russia had failed in their first attempts.

"The spacecraft (Orbiter) successfully entered the Martian orbit at 7.55 am and is located at about 515 km from its surface...," a senior space official told IANS at the mission control centre here.

Radars at the earth stations of NASA at Goldstone in the US, Madrid in Spain, Canberra in Australia and India's own deep space network at Baylalu near Bangalore received the radio signals from the Orbiter, confirming its insertion into the Mars orbit.

Modi, who witnessed the event from an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) facility in Bangalore, said that the successful Mars mission "must become a base for challenging the next frontier".

The success "will go down as landmark in history", said a visibly delighted Modi.

India's Mars mission is "a shining symbol of what we are capable of as a nation" and we have gone beyond boundaries of human enterprise and imagination, he added.

The 475 kg (dry mass) Orbiter will take 77 hours or 3.2 earth days to rotate around the Red Planet over the next six months and will study its surface and mineral composition and scan its atmosphere for methane gas in search of life-sustaining elements.

The prime minister said that the MOM was built "indigenously, in a pan-Indian effort".

"With today's spectacular success, ISRO joins an elite group of only three other agencies worldwide to have successfully reached the Red Planet," he added amidst applause.

Modi, who spoke in English and Hindi, said that the "odds were stacked against us".

"Of the 51 missions attempted across the world so far, a mere 21 had succeeded. But we have prevailed...Travelling an incredible distance, of over 650 million or 65 crore km, we have gone beyond boundaries of human enterprise and imagination."

Indians, including those living abroad, were elated and many took to Facebook and Twitter saying "mission accomplished".

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India at kissing distance of Mars; Indian scientists script history

BANGALORE, Sept 24 (IANS): India on Wednesday created space history by becoming the first country in the world to enter Mars' orbit in its debut attempt. A beaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi, wearing a red jacket symbolic of the Red Planet, described it as "achieving the near impossible", congratulated the feat of Indian scientists and called for challenging the next frontier.

India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) traversed over 650 million km through deep space for over nine months to successfully reach the planet's orbit. The US, Europe and Russia had failed in their first attempts.

"The spacecraft (Orbiter) successfully entered the Martian orbit at 7.55 am and is located at about 515 km from its surface...," a senior space official told IANS at the mission control centre here.

Radars at the earth stations of NASA at Goldstone in the US, Madrid in Spain, Canberra in Australia and India's own deep space network at Baylalu near Bangalore received the radio signals from the Orbiter, confirming its insertion into the Mars orbit.

Modi, who witnessed the event from an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) facility in Bangalore, said that the successful Mars mission "must become a base for challenging the next frontier".

The success "will go down as landmark in history", said a visibly delighted Modi.

India's Mars mission is "a shining symbol of what we are capable of as a nation" and we have gone beyond boundaries of human enterprise and imagination, he added.

The 475 kg (dry mass) Orbiter will take 77 hours or 3.2 earth days to rotate around the Red Planet over the next six months and will study its surface and mineral composition and scan its atmosphere for methane gas in search of life-sustaining elements.

The prime minister said that the MOM was built "indigenously, in a pan-Indian effort".

"With today's spectacular success, ISRO joins an elite group of only three other agencies worldwide to have successfully reached the Red Planet," he added amidst applause.

Modi, who spoke in English and Hindi, said that the "odds were stacked against us".

"Of the 51 missions attempted across the world so far, a mere 21 had succeeded. But we have prevailed...Travelling an incredible distance, of over 650 million or 65 crore km, we have gone beyond boundaries of human enterprise and imagination."

Indians, including those living abroad, were elated and many took to Facebook and Twitter saying "mission accomplished".