"Sonia Gandhi has lauded the Indian space scientists for their successful launch of the historic Mangalyaan (Mars craft) Mission. Every Indian is proud of this outstanding scientific feat by our great scientists," an All India Congress Committee (AICC) release said.
Sonia Gandhi’s congratulatory message came as the country today embarked on its maiden Mars odyssey with its polar rocket carrying Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) successfully lifting off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in its first- ever inter-planetary expedition in a bid to join a select band of nations.
The lift-off of ISRO's workhorse launch vehicle PSLV C25 at 2.38 PM from the spaceport in Sriharikota, about 100 km from Chennai, was witnessed among others by Minister of State in PMO, V Narayanasamy, U.S. Ambassador to India, Nancy Powell, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K Radhakrishnan and a host of other officials.
The mission is aimed at establishing the country's capability to reach the Red Planet and focussing on looking for the presence of methane, an indicator of life, in Mars. European Space Agency (ESA) of the European consortium, National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA) of the US and Roscosmos of Russia are the three agencies which have successfully sent their missions to the planet.
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