NEW DELHI, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- India Wednesday formally announced its maiden mission to Mars, days after the country's Cabinet approved the initiative.
"Recently, the Cabinet had approved the mission to Mars known as Mangalyaan. Our mission will go near Mars and collect important scientific information. It will indeed be a big step for the country in the area of science and technology," Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, while addressing the nation on the occasion of its Independence Day in the national capital.
The mission to Mars will put India in the extraordinary league of five nations -- Russia, Europe, Japan, China and the U.S. -- which have already made a foray into the Red Planet.