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India testfires its maiden Mars mission's liquid engine

2014-09-23 09:28 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

India Monday successfully testfired its maiden Mars mission's main liquid engine, a crucial step before the spacecraft enters Martian orbit Wednesday.

The state-owned Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) confirmed the testfiring around 2.50 pm (local time) and also said that the mission's crucial fourth trajectory correction manoeuvre has also been successfully carried out, hours after the spacecraft entered Martian gravitational sphere of influence.

The Mars orbiter mission has been on an arduous nine-month-long journey to the Red Planet, but its main rocket engine has been lying dormant for this extended period. "The engine has now been waken up," an ISRO official said.

Launched on November 5 last year, India's Mar mission has been successfully braving the rough weather in space. The satellite is carrying one large rocket motor and eight smaller thrusters.

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