Op/Ed: Why India Is Going to Mars The New York Times

If you want to marry in India and are looking for a bride or groom, normally you need to consult an astrologer, to learn whether the position of the planet Mars is favorable on your birth chart. If not, you may find it difficult to get the match of your choice. Lately, some employers have been trying this as well, matching their horoscopes with those of their prospective employees; companies are also comparing horoscopes with their clients for good fortune. The influence of Mars and the other planets on the life of an average Indian cannot be forgotten, especially this month. On Nov. 5, a Tuesday — Mangalvaar in Hindi, named for the planet Mars — India launched its first mission to the red planet. The day before, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization paid a visit to a temple, to seek the blessings of Lord Venkateswara. If the mission is successful, the Mars Orbiter will study the planet’s atmosphere and mineralogy, map its surface and test for methane, a possible sign of the presence of life.