5 Things You Didn’t Know About India's Mission to Mars

India's Mars Mission set off on November 5, 2013

You must be wondering what the big deal about the Mars Mission is. Well, all we can say is that it’s a huge step for India ‘coz we are the first Asian country to have taken a leap into interplanetary space to conduct experiments. That’s quite a feat we must say! So if you are one of those looking for some gyan surrounding India’s unmanned Mars Mission or Mangalyaan, then here are five things that will knock your socks off!

Mangalyaan is a project by the Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO whose primary objective is to conduct experiments including study the Martian environment. Did you know that India is the first Asian country and the fourth after Russia, US and the European Space Agency (ESA) to have launched this exploratory mission?

ISRO's PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket, which set off on the Mars Mission on Tuesday, is about to enter the Martian orbit in 300 days. So, Indians can look forward to another milestone around September 2014.

It's indeed a proud moment for India given the first level of the Mars Mission project took only 15 months to materialise. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced Mangalyaan in August 2012.

Did you know that the Rs.450 crore-Mars Mission is being touted as a cheaper project? But, criticism has already started flowing in considering India's poverty levels, low level of growth and power shortages.

Last but not the least, the Mars Mission endeavours to hunt for methane in the Martian atmosphere, a chemical strongly associated to life on Earth.

Oh and here's some really fun fact. Looks like the Chairman of ISRO, K. Radhakrishnan, is a talented chap. We were quite surprised to know that the scientist is a fantastic singer, and even a trained Kathakali dancer. Cool, eh!