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ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission

12 must-know facts about India's mission to Mars

ISRO's historic mission to Mars - is its first-ever launch outside the Earth's sphere of influence in its 44-year-long history. It is also the cheapest by any nation to the red planet! Find out more about India's bold Mission to the red planet..

This is India's first Mars mission, and no country has been fully successful on its first try. If India can pull it off, it will demonstrate a highly capable space program that belongs within an elite club of governments exploring the universe.NASA will help Isro with ground monitoring from three deep-space facilities after the launch. The American space agency will send its own probe, Maven, 13 days later.

Arun Ram reports from Sriharikota
There is palpable excitement at the mission control, 7km away from the launch pad. Indian Space Research Organisation chairman K Radhakrishnan has been going around the mission control, shaking hands with the 58 top scientists directly monitoring the progress of the mission.

Hundreds of people have gathered on the roads leading to the spaceport and on terraces to catch a glimpse of PSLV-C25 as it lifts off minutes from now. Scientists here told TOI that everything is progressing as expected. Cloudy skies and a light drizzle about 90 minutes before the lift-off time gave some anxious moments to lay people, but scientists said the weather is just fine.

"Earlier we were a bit worried as Sriharikota is a cyclone prone area this time of the year," said a scientist in the mission control. "Weather forecast shows there could be light showers, but there is nothing that will affect the launch."

Only the US, Russia and the European Union have succeeded in reaching Mars before. China failed in 2011 with its probe aboard a Russian rocket and Japan’s effort floundered in 2003

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