India counts down to mission to Mars
Nov 4, 2013 / 9:42 pm
India is counting down to the launch of its first journey to Mars, a complex mission that it hopes will demonstrate and advance technologies for space travel.
Mangalyaan, which means "Mars craft" in Hindi, will ride a powerful rocket first into an elliptical orbit around Earth. There, it will perform a series of technical maneuvers and short burns to raise its orbit before it slingshots toward Mars.
The 1,350-kilogram (3,000-pound) orbiter must travel some 780 million kilometres (485 million miles) over 300 days to reach the red planet next September.
If successful, India would be only the fourth country or group of countries to visit Mars, after the Soviet Union, United States and Europe.
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