India's first Mars mission crosses halfway mark
India's first mission to Mars has successfully crossed the half-way mark, four months after leaving on an voyage to the Red Planet which is scheduled to take 11 months.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) made the announcement on Wednesday in a statement from the southern city of Bangalore, News 24 reported.
It said that the spacecraft and its five scientific instruments are in good health.
The gold-coloured probe, the size of a small car, will aim to detect methane in the Martian atmosphere, which could provide evidence of some sort of life form on the Red Planet.
The country has never before attempted inter-planetary travel, and more than half of all missions to Mars have ended in failure, including China's in 2011 and Japan's in 2003.
The low-cost Mars Orbiter Mission, known as "Mangalyaan" in India, was revealed in August 2012 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, shortly after China's attempt flopped.
(Posted on 10-04-2014)