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Mars mission major milestone for India, say Pranab, PM

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Mars mission major milestone for India, say Pranab, PM
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New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday congratulated the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on the successful launch of Mars orbiter mission, describing it as a "significant milestone" in India's space programme.

"This launch of India's first dedicated Mars orbiter spacecraft is a significant milestone in the progress of our space programme and space applications," President Mukherjee said in a message to ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan.

"This day shall go down as a landmark in our space programme, a day which will inspire our scientists to make even greater strides in achieving our national goals in the field of space," he said.

Describing it as the "most complex space mission of the country", the prime minister said: "The successful launch is the first step towards a successful mission and is testimony to ISRO's mastery of the launch vehicle technology."

"I wish the ISRO scientists all the best for the delicate next steps in this ambitious and long mission to Mars which will be the most significant milestone in our space programme and I remain confident that they will do the country proud," he said.

The Indian rocket carrying the country's first Mars orbiter was blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh Tuesday.

The spacecraft, after a nine-month journey, will enter into the Martian orbit in September 2014.

IANS

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