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Indian Mars mission leaves Earth orbit
Posted: Sun, Dec 1, 2013, 9:30 AM ET (1430 GMT)
India Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft illus. (ISRO) India's first Mars mission fired its main engine early Sunday to boost the spacecraft into a Mars-bound trajectory. The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), launched November 5 into a parking orbit around the Earth, performed the last of a series of maneuvers at 2:19 pm EST Saturday (1919 GMT Saturday, 12:49 am Indian time Sunday), firing its engine for 22 minutes. The burn placed the spacecraft into a trans-Mars trajectory, arriving at Mars in September. MOM, also known as Mangalyaan, had performed six maneuvers prior to Sunday's to raise its orbit. At Mars, MOM will go into an elliptical orbit, studying the planet's surface and atmosphere.
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