1st LD Writethru: India's Mars mission leaves Earth
NEW DELHI, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- India's maiden Mars orbiter mission, called Mangalyaan, Sunday left Earth for a 300-day journey to the Red Planet, an official of the state-owned space agency said.
"The Mars orbiter left Earth's gravity at 00.49 a.m. (local time) to enter the solar orbit after nearly 23 minutes for a 300- day journey to Mars. All was as planned. Now, we need to rely on sun's gravity and laws of universe to deliver it to Mars at the right epoch," he said, on condition of anonymity.
Launched on November 5 this year from the southern Indian spaceport of Sriharikota, the Mangalyaan has been rotating around the Earth so far with over 250 scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) keeping a vigil on it.
However, the mission's success can be assessed only when the spacecraft reaches the Martian orbit on September 24, 2014. Once it is there, Mangalyaan will revolve around Mars for six months.
But, there are many risks as no country till date has succeeded in reaching Mars on its maiden attempt.