India has successfully launched a spacecraft to the Red Planet – with the aim of becoming the fourth space agency to reach Mars. The Mars Orbiter Mission took off at 09:08 GMT from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on the country’s east coast. The head of India’s space agency told the BBC the mission would demonstrate the technological capability to reach Mars orbit and carry out experiments.
The spacecraft is set to travel for 300 days, reaching Mars orbit in 2014. If the satellite orbits the Red Planet, India’s space agency will become the fourth in the world after those of the US, Russia and Europe to undertake a successful Mars mission. Edited from India launches spacecraft to Mars.