Oct 22, 2008 | 1
India is on its way to the moon, the country’s first unmanned mission there ahead of a planned 2012 rover landing.
The Chandrayaan 1 probe blasted off atop a PSLV-C11 rocket at 6:22 local time this morning from Satish Dhawan Space Center in the southern Andrha Pradesh Province. The $79-million mission reflects an emerging, competitive Asian presence in space at a time when the U.S. shuttle fleet is nearing retirement.
“It is a historic moment,” said G. Madhavan Nair, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, according to Bloomberg News. “Our journey to the moon has started.”
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