India’s bold plan to send a spacecraft to Mars passed another significant milestone today when the spacecraft fired its main engine for more than 20 minutes. This burn gave it to speed it needed to leave the gravitational pull of Earth and send it on the 10 month trip to mars..The probe will reach Mars on 24 September 2014.
The $72m probe will also carry out experiments, including a search for methane gas in the planet’s atmosphere.
On the Twitter site they stated “Earth orbiting phase of the #Mangalyaan ended and now is on a course to encounter Mars after a journey of about 10 months around the Sun.”
The head of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) K Radhakrishnan said the operation to leave orbit had passed off well.