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India Mars mission tests engine prior to arrival
Posted: Tue, Sep 23, 2014, 1:55 PM ET (1755 GMT)
India Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft illus. (ISRO) India's first Mars mission successfully tested the engine it will use this week to go into orbit around the Red Planet. The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft fired its main engine for four seconds on Monday, confirming that it is in good condition. That engine will fire early Wednesday for 24 minutes to slow the spacecraft down and place it into an elliptical orbit around the planet. That engine had previously been used to raise the spacecraft's orbit around the Earth after launch last November. MOM is India's first Mars mission; the spacecraft carries a camera and several other instruments to study the planet's surface and atmosphere.
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