Page last updated at 04:56 GMT, Wednesday, 22 October 2008 05:56 UK

In Pictures: India Moon mission

The unmanned Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft blasts off

India has successfully launched its first mission to the Moon. The unmanned Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft blasted off smoothly from a launch pad to embark on a two-year mission of exploration.

The unmanned Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft blasts off

Indian PM Manmohan Singh hailed the launch as the "first step" in a historic milestone in the country's space programme. "Our scientists have again done the country proud," he said.

The satellite Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, India's first moon mission craft is seen from behind glass at the Indian Space Research Organisation facility in southern Indian

The robotic probe will orbit the Moon, compiling a 3-D atlas of the lunar surface and mapping the distribution of elements and minerals. The launch is regarded as a major step for India.

People crowd on a terrace to witness the launch of Chandrayaan-1, India's maiden lunar mission, at the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India

The launch was greeted with applause by scientists gathered at the site. There has been a lot of excitement about the event, which was broadcast live on national TV.

People crowd on a terrace to witness the launch of Chandrayaan-1, India's maiden lunar mission, at the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India

The space programme has been largely welcomed. Most people say despite scarce resources India should keep pace with other space-faring nations.

The media covering the launch of Chandrayaan-1, India's maiden lunar mission, at the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India

The launch attracted worldwide media attention and many journalists flocked to the space centre, in Sriharikota, north of the southern city of Chennai, to cover the launch.



SEE ALSO
India launches first Moon mission
22 Oct 08 |  Science & Environment
India sets its sights on the Moon
21 Oct 08 |  South Asia


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