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India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) passes crucial test

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The Indian Space Research Organisation said on Twitter that the four-second test firing of its Mangalyaan orbiter’s main liquid engine had worked. The engine has been dormant since December when the satellite left the Earth’s gravitational orbit, so ISRO needed to be sure it was still functional.On Wednesday (24th September), the engine will need to fire for 24 minutes in order to slow the satellite down enough to orbit Mars successfully. If India succeeds, it will become the first country in the world to insert a spacecraft around Mars in the first attempt.

Mangalyaan’s Mission is to study Martian surface and its mineral composition and it will also search for methane on Mars’ atmosphere.