India Shoots for Mars

India's unmanned spacecraft, the Mangalyaan, sets off.

India is often accused of not asserting itself in world affairs, of being unfocused, introverted, unrealistic or just nonaligned. That may be true, but when it comes to space, India's ambitions aren't at all modest -- and they just got bigger. On Nov. 5, the Indian Space Research Organization successfully put into Earth's orbit an indigenous, unmanned spacecraft, the Mangalyaan ("Mars-craft"), which on Nov. 30 will begin a nine-month journey toward Mars.

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