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China hails India's Mars mission success

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BEIJING (PTI): China on Wednesday hailed India's successful Mars mission saying that it was not only a proud achievement for the country and Asia but also a "landmark progress" in mankind's exploration of outer space, in a rare acknowledgment of its Asian rival's rising space prowess.

"We have seen the report and congratulate India on the Mars satellite entering the orbit successfully," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing in Beijing while replying to a question on the successful voyage of India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft 'Mangalyaan'.

"This is pride of India and pride of Asia and also is a landmark progress in humankind's exploration of outer space. So we congratulate India on that," she said.

Responding to a question on whether China sees any room to work with India on space exploration in future, she said, "China always maintained peaceful development of outer space and carry out cooperation in this regard."

"We are willing to work with the world to peacefully develop and explore the outer space and make contribution to the sustainable development and long term peace of the outer space," Hua said.

Mangalyaan provides a lead to India in this regard, though China has an advanced space programme and is in the process of constructing a space station which is expected to be ready by 2020.

China's praise of Mangalyaan's success as Asia's pride is regarded as significant in the backdrop of media hype over space rivalry between the two Asian giants.

Chinese media also hailed Mangalyaan's successful entry into Mars orbit and praised the cost effectiveness of the project, noting that the space module that travelled millions of miles was cheaper to make than a Hollywood movie.

Reporting on Mangalyaan's entry into Mars orbit, state-run Xinhua news agency said "India successfully reaches Mars in first attempt".

"The total cost of the Indian mission has been put at Rs 4.5 billion (USD 74 million), cheaper than the cost of making a Hollywood movie," the Xinhua report said alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's earlier comment of the project costing less than the budget of the space blockbuster "Gravity".

Watched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists broke into wild cheers and congratulated each other after the 1,350 kg spacecraft was manoeuvred into its designated place, capping a 666 million km journey that began on November 5 last year.

When Mangalyaan was launched in November last, state-run Global Times daily in its editorial at that time said it would give an advantage to India.

"India has an ambitious goal of leading Asia in this area, especially having an advantage over China," it had said.

Tags:

China  India  Mars  ISRO  MOM  Spacecraft  Orbit  Space  
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