17:14 05 November 2013
India's Mars Orbiter Mission has launched a spacecraft to the Red Planet.
If the mission is a success, India will become just the fourth space agency to reach the distant planet after the US, Russia and Europe.
The spacecraft will travel for 300 days before reaching Mars' orbit in the New Year.
Prof Andrew Coates, from the UK's Mullard Space Science Laboratory, spoke to BBC News to discuss the event: "I think this mission really brings India to the table of international space exploration.
"Interplanetary exploration is certainly not trivial to do, and [India] has found some interesting scientific niches to make some measurements in."
The Indian team hopes to register the signature of methane (CH4) in the Martian atmosphere, something which NASA’s Curiosity rover has so far failed to find.
The ship is set to also measure the planet's loss of atmospheric gases to outer space to uncover how it became the planet it is today.
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