WHILE India is getting ready to launch its first rocket to Mars, the two ships that will monitor its progress from Fiji and the South Pacific are ready.
This has been confirmed by India's High Commissioner to Fiji Vinod Kumar.
Mr Kumar said the two ships — S.C.I. Yamuna and S.C.I. Nalanda — have left Suva's Kings Wharf after piling necessary logistics to their designated spots in the Pacific Ocean.
"The ships are gone to their location. We are waiting for the launch from India.
"It is expected to be sometimes in the first week of November," he said.
And while Fiji will be the data-collecting hub for the mission, Mr Kumar said the 18-member team of top scientists and engineers from India's International Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have already started their work on board the ships.
The $US69million ($F127.3m) Mars Orbiter Mission called Mangalyaan will be launched from India and scientists expect the rocket to enter space from somewhere high above Fiji's airspace or somewhere close.