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India`s Mars mission a great achievement: Chinese experts

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 17:30

Beijing: Likening India`s Mars probe to putting `a golf ball from Tokyo in a hole in Paris`, Chinese experts have termed Manglaayan`s launch as "a great achievement" which if successful could make India the first Asian country to achieve this fete.

Indian launch should be interpreted rationally as "a great achievement" of India that also deserves applause from the rest of the world, Ye Hailin, an expert on South Asian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said.

"Like the Chinese, Indian people have their space dreams as well. The Mars orbiter, if successful, will increase the human race`s store of knowledge and change our life," Ye told state-run China Daily.

Official dailies here front-paged the successful launch of the India`s Mars mission, focussing on India taking the lead in Mars exploration over China.

Ye also said China and India may work together to explore space instead of being engaged in what was called "aerospace competition".

In his reaction yesterday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said thee outer space is "the common heritage of mankind" and the international community should cooperate to maintain the permanent peace and sustainable development of outer space.

Pang Zhihao, a researcher with the China Academy of Space Technology, said ultimate outcome of the current Indian venture remains to be seen, as the successful launch was only the start of a year-long mission.

"The difficulty of getting the orbiter into orbit around Mars is equal to hitting a golf ball from Tokyo into a hole in Paris," Pang said adding that China is ready to conduct its own exploration of Mars in the near future.

"The carrier rocket Long March 5, with its 25 metric tons of low-Earth orbit carrying capacity and 14 tonnes of geostationary transfer orbit carrying capacity, can fully sustain our own Mars exploration projects," he said.

Jiao Weixin, a professor at the School of Earth and Space Sciences at Peking University told the daily that "with the mission launched within a very short period, India eyes the political influence hereby brought and intends to be the first one in Asia that orbits Mars."

First Published: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 17:30

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