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India launches rocket to Mars

India has launched an unmanned rocket to Mars this morning on its first mission to the planet. The spacecraft will travel for 300 days and reach Mars orbit in September 2014.

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India's space agency set for Mars mission

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists have already started counting down to lift-off. Credit: APTN

India's space agency to is counting down to launch its first ever rocket to Mars this morning.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists have said the mission is primarily aimed at testing the best technologies to fly and orbit and communicate from the Red Planet.

It is the first time India has attempted to launch a mission to Mars. Credit: APTN

If the mission is successful, and the satellite orbits the Red Planet, India's space agency will become the fourth in the world, after the US, Russia and Europe, to undertake a successful Mars mission.

India's Mars Orbiter Mission is due to blast off today. Credit: APTN

The 56-hour countdown to launch started on Sunday.

Today's mission follows India's successful 2008-2009 Chandrayaan-1 moon probe, which discovered water molecules in the lunar soil.

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