President Pranab Mukherjee, on Tuesday, led the nation in congratulating the Indian Space Research Organisation for the text book style launch of its mission to Mars.

In a message to ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan, the President noted that the launching of India’s first dedicated Mars orbiter spacecraft was a significant milestone in the progress of the country’s space programme and space applications.

"This day shall go down as a landmark in our space programme, a day which will inspire our scientists to make even greater strides in achieving our national goals in the field of space," he added.

PM calls up ISRO chief

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hailed the launch of the Mars mission as a "historic achievement" and congratulated ISRO scientists for the significant milestone.

Dr. Singh called up ISRO Chairman to congratulate him and his team of scientists and extended best wishes for its successful future. "I congratulate you and your team for this historic achievement," the Prime Minister told Dr. Radhakrishnan.

In a message later, he said, "I congratulate all scientists of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for the successful launch today of the Mars orbiter mission, the most complex space mission of the country. The successful launch is the first step towards a successful mission and is testimony to ISRO's mastery of the launch vehicle technology."

He wished the ISRO scientists all the best for the "delicate next steps in this ambitious and long mission to Mars which will be the most significant milestone in our space programme and I remain confident that they will do the country proud."

Congress president Sonia Gandhi lauded scientists for the successful launch of Mars Orbiter Mission, saying every Indian was proud of the "outstanding scientific feat."

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