Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh), Nov 5 (IANS) Highlights of India's mission to Mars:
* India is the first Asian country and the fourth in the world to undertake a mission to the red planet in the hope of finding methane and minerals.
* The cost of India's mission to Mars is Rs.450 crore (about $72.9 million).
* The Indian-made rocket - Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C25 (PSLV-C25) is around 44 metres tall and weighs around 320 tonnes.
* The expendable rocket costs around Rs.110 crore has a single but important luggage, the 1,340-kg Mars orbiter costing around Rs.150 crore. Around Rs.90 crore has been spent on augmenting the ground support/tracking systems.
* The scientific mission will explore the Mars surface features, morphology, or the study of organisms, mineralogy, the study of minerals, and Martian atmosphere.
* The rocket will cover a distance of about 400 million km.
* The Mars orbiter will orbit the Earth till Nov 30 and then its motors will be fired to push it towards the red planet.
* For nearly 300 days, the motor will be off while the spacecraft floats through the inky void towards Mars.
* When the spacecraft nears Mars, the motors will be restarted and fired again to carry out maneuvers to put it in Martian orbit around September 2014.