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Mangalyaan sends first picture of Mars surface!

A day after being put up in the Mars orbit, Mangalyaan tweeted the first pictures of the surface of the red planet.

The Mars Orbiter, Mangalyaan, clicked its first pictures hours after it entered the orbit of the Red Planet, making India the first nation to achieve the feat in its maiden attempt.

The high definition pictures taken with the help of cameras onboard the satellite have captured Mars' surface.

Earlier on Wednesday morning, a beaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi, wearing a red jacket symbolic of the Red Planet, described it as "achieving the near impossible", congratulated the feat of Indian scientists and called for challenging the next frontier.

India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) traversed over 650 million km through deep space for over nine months to successfully reach the planet's orbit. The US, Europe and Russia had failed in their first attempts.

Radars at the earth stations of NASA at Goldstone in the US, Madrid in Spain, Canberra in Australia and India's own deep space network at Baylalu near Bangalore received the radio signals from the Orbiter, confirming its insertion into the Mars orbit.

Modi, who witnessed the event from an ISRO facility in Bangalore, said that the successful Mars mission "must become a base for challenging the next frontier".

The 475 kg (dry mass) Orbiter will take 77 hours or 3.2 earth days to rotate around the red planet over the next six months and will study its surface and mineral composition and scan its atmosphere for methane gas in search of life-sustaining elements.

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