By Alexandra Hansen
At 2.38pm local time on Tuesday, India began its first mission to Mars.
An unmanned probe was launched to commence the 680 million kilometre journey to the red planet, which will take almost a year.
The Mars Orbiter Mission has achieved lift-off a mere 15 months after its announcement by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and was achieved for a fifth of the cost of Mars missions undertaken by the US and Russia.
India’s space program has come under fire since its inception in 1963, with many arguing space exploration is not a priority when much of India’s population suffers gross inequity and poverty.
Read a full report in The Age.