India to launch maiden Mars mission in November

Updated: 2013-09-08 16:05


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NEW DELHI -- India is all set to launch its maiden mission to Mars this November, a top official has said.

"Hectic preparations are on to launch Indian Space Research Organization's (ISRO) ambitious Mars Orbiter Mission in November. The Mars Orbiter Mission will be sent through powerful PSLV-XL launch vehicle," Professor U.R. Rao of Governing Council of Physical Research Laboratory told the media.

"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," he added.

Called the Mangalyaan Mars probe, the mission will lift off from the state-owned ISRO's launch site at the southern Indian spaceport of Sriharikota. With this mission, India will be the sixth country to launch a mission to Mars after the US, Russia, Europe, China and Japan.