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India launches rocket to Mars

A new science satellite lifted off to join a fleet of robotic Mars probes to help determine why the planet most like Earth in the solar system ended up so different. India's Mars Orbiter Mission, the country's first interplanetary foray, blasted off on Tuesday (November 5) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India. Billed as a pathfinder to test technologies to fly to orbit and communicate from Mars, the satellite follows India's successful 2008-2009 Chandrayaan-1 moon probe, which discovered water molecules in the lunar soil. The Mars Orbiter Mission has ambitious science goals as well, including a search for methane in the Martian atmosphere. On Earth, the chemical is strongly tied to life. Methane, which also can be produced by non-biological processes, was first detected in the Martian atmosphere a decade ago. But recent measurements made by NASA's Mars rover, Curiosity, show only trace amounts of methane, a puzzling finding since the g

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