India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, carrying the Mars orbiter, blasts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in SriharikotaReuters

India's Mars Orbiter Mission "Mangalyaan" is set to leave earth's orbit in the wee hours of Sunday for the Trans Mars Injection (TMI) manoeuvre.

Mangalyaan, designed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), was successfully launched on 5 November from Sriharikota. 

Scientists at ISRO's Spacecraft Control Centre at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network in Bangalore will be performing the TMI.

"The trans-Mars injection- we are planning to depart on December 1, 2013 early hours of 00:49 hours IST and we are going to burn a liquid engine for duration of roughly 23 minutes which will impart an incremental velocity of 648 metres per second consuming a fuel of 198 kgs," said V Koteswara Rao, Scientific Secretary, ISRO, as quoted by PTI.

Various ISRO scientists conducted a meeting on Friday evening to review the preparations of the TMI manoeuvre.

"Tomorrow we upload the commands of sequence in a time-tagged manner based on various parameters. Several people have been monitoring their respective sub-systems related to the spacecraft and the TMI so that the operation takes place at the appointed time without a hitch," said K Radhakrishnan, Chairman of ISRO, ahead of the review meeting as quoted by The Hindu. (

The scientists reviewed spacecraft, propulsion, telemetry, sensors, navigation and inertial systems that are involved in the TMI of the Mangalyaan.  

The Orbiter then will have to travel about 680 kilometres into deep space where ISRO has planned four more mid-course correction manoeuvres to set the spacecraft in Mars orbit on 24 September next year.

The Obiter spacecraft carries five scientific payloads to explore the Martian surface, morphology, mineralogy and atmosphere. The ₹450 Crore mission is a technology demonstrator that will help ISRO to develop technologies required for designing, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission.   

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