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PHOTO: Mars orbiter's first ever image of earth

Last updated on: November 22, 2013 01:00 IST

PHOTO: Mars orbiter's first ever image of earth

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The Indian Space Research Organisation has released the first ever image of the earth taken by the country’s Mars Orbiter Spacecraft.

This image was taken on November 19 at 1350 hours using the Mars Colour Camera from a height of almost 70,000 km above earth and has a spatial resolution of 3.5 km.

In a post on social networking website Facebook, ISRO said: “In the process of testing our payloads, we turned the Mars Colour Camera towards the earth and switched it on, and here is the first ever image. We are certain we are going to get some great shots in the orbit of Mars.”

The picture has captured the Indian subcontinent and parts of Africa, especially Cyclone Helen, hovering off the Andhra Pradesh coast.

The Mars Orbiter Mission is aimed at establishing India's capability to reach the Red Planet. It focuses on looking for the presence of methane, an indicator of life on the planet.

The spacecraft would go around the Earth for 25 days before the ISRO plans to do trans-Mars injection on December 1, enabling it to undertake the long voyage towards Mars.

In its 300-day, 780-million-kilometre journey, the spacecraft will orbit Mars and survey its geology and atmosphere. The satellite will enter the Mars orbit in September 2014.

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Photographs: ISRO

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