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India Mars Mission Is on Its Way To Mars; Indian craft leaves Earth’s Orbit

By Tony Sokol | December 01, 2013 12:06 PM EST

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India Mars Mission: The craft for India's Mars orbiter mission left Earth's orbit early this morning after a maneuver set it on its way to Mars.

The Bangalore-based Indian Space Research Organization said the India Mars Mission craft fired its main engine for over 20 minutes to reach the correct velocity to leave the Earth's orbit .

In a statement, the Space Research Organization said "The Earth orbiting phase of the spacecraft ended. The spacecraft is now on a course to encounter Mars after a journey of about 10 months around the sun."

The statement said that all systems onboard the India Mars mission spacecraft are performing normally.

The India Mars Mission is India's first craft set to explore the red planet.  The India Mars Mission lift off on Nov. 5. India hopes the Mars mission will demonstrate and advance technologies for space travel.

The Mangalyaan, which means "Mars craft" in Hindi,  is a  3,000-pound orbiter craft. It will travel 485 million miles in over 300 days. The India Mars mission should reach an orbit around Mars next September.

India will be the fourth space program to visit Mars. Soviet Union, the United States and Europe have already launched successful missions.

The $72 million cost of the India Mars mission has come under fire. India's population of 1.2 billion deal with widespread hunger and poverty. The Indian government says the Mars mission will provide high-tech jobs for scientists and engineers. India says its $1 billion space program will provide practical applications for problems people face on Earth. They say space research has allowed India to develop satellite, communications and remote sensing technologies. This is applied to forecasting where fish can be caught and in predicting storms and floods, among other everyday concerns.

Tagged :  world news, India, mars, Mission, leaves, orbit

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