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India testfires Mars mission engine

(Xinhua)

14:41, October 10, 2012

NEW DELHI, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- India has testfired its Mars mission engine for the first time, local media reported Tuesday.

The Mars mission engine, known as the liquid apogee motor (LAM), was fired for about 670 seconds at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)'s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre at Mahendra Giri in southern state of Tamil Nadu Monday, The Times of India newspaper quoted an ISRO official as saying.

"The test was successful and will go on for about 45 days," the state-owned ISRO's chief spokesperson Devi Prasad Karnik said.

LAM plays a key role in orbit-raising manoeuvres. The current mission profile of the mission envisages the orbiter operating in the Earth-bound orbit six times as its altitude is raised, before it sets off on its 300-day journey to Mars, the newspaper said.

India's Mars mission is scheduled for the end of October or beginning of November next year.

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