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Published on Nov 5, 2013
India's Mars Orbiter Mission, the country's first interplanetary foray, blasts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India. India launched its first spacecraft 'Mangalyaan' to Mars on Tuesday (November 2), a test of the emerging Asian nation's low-cost technology that could help it join a small club of space agencies to have explored the red planet. The 4.5 billion-rupee (USD 73 million) Mars Orbiter Mission blasted off from the southeastern coast on Tuesday afternoon. If successful, the satellite will take about 300 days to reach Mars and will search for methane in the Martian atmosphere. Only the United States, Europe, and Russia have so far successfully sent probes that have orbited or landed on Mars.