Indian spacecraft on course to enter Mars orbit
NEW DELHI (AP) — India will soon know if its first interplanetary mission will achieve its goal, when a spacecraft built with homegrown technology for a remarkably low price tag of $75 million begins its final maneuvers into orbit around Mars.
If the Mars Orbiter Mission, affectionately nicknamed MOM, takes its position on Wednesday as planned, India will join the U.S., the European Space Agency and the former Soviet Union in the elite club of Martian explorers.
The next few hours will be crucial as the Indian Space and Research Organisation commands a series of maneuvers to position the spacecraft in its designated orbit around the red planet.
Reaching Mars orbit would mark a milestone for India’s space program in showing the world that it’s capable of complex missions and could reliably act as a launching pad for commercial, navigational and research satellites.