In­dian space­craft on course to en­ter Mars or­bit

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

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.

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