India Launches Moon Mission In Asian Space Race

Wednesday, October 22nd 2008, 6:52 am
By: News On 6

NEW DELHI (AP) - India has successfully launched it's first unmanned mission to the moon.

Chandrayaan-1 has blasted off from the Sriharikota space center in southern India into the dawn sky Wednesday in a 2-year mission aimed at laying the groundwork for further Indian space expeditions.

Mission control says "lift off is normal."

Chief among the mission's goals is mapping not only the surface of the moon, but what lies beneath. If the launch is successful, India will join what's shaping up as a 21st century space race with Chinese and Japanese crafts already in orbit around the moon.

The rocket's name means "Moon Craft" in ancient Sanskrit.

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