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India’s ‘Mangalyan’ crosses half way mark to Mars

Representational picture

"In terms of radio distance, the 1,337 kg Orbiter is cruising at 39 million km away from earth, travelling at 1.55 km per second in the sun's orbit," ISRO said in a statement.

The Mars Orbiter Mission ‘Mangalyan’ was launched on November 5, 2013, from Sriharikota spaceport off the Bay of Bengal, onboard a 350-tonne rocket with five scientific instruments to detect methane in the Martian atmosphere, measure the thermal emission and capture images of the red planet from its orbit at a distance of 500 km.

The orbiter is expected to reach the Mars on September 24 this year. Incidentally, the spacecraft is crossing the halfway mark a day after the Earth was at its closest to the red planet.

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