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ISRO's Mars Orbiter sends first picture of Earth

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First image of the Earth by Mars Color Camera (MCC) of Mars Orbiter Spacecraft taken on Nov 19, 2013. An ISRO photo

CHENNAI (PTI): India's Mars orbiter 'Mangalyaan' has beamed back the first set of pictures of Earth, capturing the Indian subcontinent and parts of Africa, ISRO has said.

"We are checking the equipment on board the spacecraft.

The picture is from Mars Color Camera, fitted on Mars Orbiter spacecraft taken on Tuesday at 1.50 PM from over 67,975 km altitude with a resolution of 3.53 km," ISRO sources said.

This is the first time after launch that an instrument on board has been checked for its operation.

Asked whether the picture was planned since the mission is to Mars, the sources said this was part of checking the equipment on board the spacecraft.

Though the national space agency has received more than one picture, it has released only one on its official website.

The severe cyclonic storm 'Helen' hurtling towards Andhra Pradesh coast has also been captured in the image.

Earlier, ISRO had performed all five orbit raising manoeuvres planned on the Mars Orbiter and raised the apogee of the spacecraft to over 1.92 lakh km.

After the successful completion of these operations, the Mars Orbiter Mission is expected to take on the "crucial event" of the trans-Mars injection around 12.42 AM on Dec 1.

It will reach the Red Planet's orbit by September 24, 2014 after an over 10 month voyage.

ISRO's PSLV C 25 successfully injected the 1,350-kg 'Mangalyaan' Orbiter (Mars craft) into the orbit around the earth some 44 minutes after a text book launch at 2.38 PM from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on Nov 5, marking the successful completion of the first stage of the Rs 450 crore mission.

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MOM  Mars  Earth  ISRO  
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