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India's Mars Orbiter completes 90 percent of its journey

Chennai: India's Mars Orbiter spacecraft has completed 90 percent of its journey to the red planet while scientists are gearing up to meet the challenge of restarting the onboard liquid fuel engine, an official said Thursday.

"The spacecraft has completed 90 percent of its journey to Mars. On Sep 14, its trajectory would be corrected," a senior official of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), told IANS.

According to him, on Sep 24, the spacecraft is slated to enter into the Mars orbit. On Sep 24, the manoeuvring of the spacecraft will begin around 7.30 a.m. The spacecraft's speed will be reduced from the current velocity so that the Mars Orbiter enters into the orbit.

The official said restarting the onboard liquid fuel engine will be a challenging task as it was dormant for nearly 300 days. "However, necessary redundancy and other measures have been incorporated in the spacecraft design and we hope, not to face much problem in restarting the engine," he said. The ISRO officials said the spacecraft and its payloads are in good condition.

Of the total Rs.450 crore budget on the project, India has spent Rs.349 crore on its Mars Orbiter Mission as on March 31, 2014. The Mars Orbiter was launched Nov 5, 2013. Now 27 days are left for India's Mars Orbiter to enter into the orbit of the Red Planet.

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