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India launches Mars Orbiter Mission
Posted: Tue, Nov 5, 2013, 8:27 AM ET (1327 GMT)
PSLV launch of Mars Orbiter Mission A PSLV rocket successfully placed India's first Mars mission into a transfer orbit on Tuesday. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on schedule at 4:08 am EST (0908 GMT, 2:38 pm local time) Tuesday, carrying the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft. The PSLV's fourth stage released MOM into an elliptical transfer orbit 45 minutes after liftoff. The spacecraft will use its main engine to enter a Mars-bound trajectory at the end of the month, arriving at Mars in September 2014. MOM will operate in an elliptical orbit around Mars, studying the planet's surface and atmosphere. The mission is India's first Mars mission, a milestone that puts it ahead of several other emerging spacefaring nations, including China.
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