India Planning its own Mission to Mars

Alex Fitzpatrick
India Planning its own Mission to Mars

Just over a week after NASA successfully landed its Curiosity Rover on Mars, India announced its own plans to launch its first mission to Earth's next-door neighbor.

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the plan, which will involve an unmanned orbiter and cost nearly $64 million, during a speech celebrating India's sixty-fifth year of independence.

"This spaceship to Mars will be a huge step for us in the area of science and technology," said Singh during his speech, according to The Guardian.

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If successful, India will become the sixth nation to reach Mars. While this mission will be unmanned, the country's space program is also seeking budgetary approval for sending astronauts to the red planet.

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India's space program is one of the largest in the world and has been a source of national pride since it was created in the 1960s. It has launched dozens of satellites for India and other countries as well as a lunar probe.

Could India be the first country to send humans to Mars? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, inhauscreative

This story originally published on Mashable here.