Indian Mars mission back on track

An additional engine burn has ensured the spacecraft reaches its desired orbit.
By Ananth Baliga  |  Nov. 12, 2013 at 9:41 AM
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(UPI) -- The Indian Mars Orbiter Mission is back on track after initially failing to reach its required orbit, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said Tuesday.

After the last engine burn failed to propel the spacecraft to its desired altitude of 100,000 kilometers, engineers at ISRO planned an additional boost which has now pushed the spacecraft to a higher orbit.

ISRO officials attributed the problem to failed liquid fuel thrusters. A science editor at Indian broadcaster NDTV told BBC News that the "spacecraft has been put on required velocity and seems to be on track."

Instead of flying directly to Mars, the $72m probe is scheduled to orbit Earth until the end of the month, building up the necessary velocity to break free from our planet's gravitational pull.

The orbiter -- known as Mangalyaan, or Mars-craft -- will the make a 300-day journey before slowing down and being pulled by Mars' gravity.

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