India's ambitious space bet Mangalyaan or the Mars Orbiter Satellite, which has been journeying to the Red Planet for nine months, has cleared a crucial test. Its rocket engine, lying dormant during this period, has been successfully test-fired successfully. Launched in November last year, Mangalyaan has braved rough weather in space. The satellite is carrying a large rocket motor and eight smaller thrusters.
The Indian Space Research organisation (ISRO) has confirmed a "perfect burn" for the engine and has also corrected its trajectory. All eyes are set on the big moment on September 24, the day Mangalyaan will enter the Martian orbit. The big rocket motor has performed flawlessly in two dozen missions since 1992, and scientists are confident of things going the planned way.
Mangalyaan is equipped with eight small rockets and a big rocket. The bigger one had been sleeping but it has been 'woken up' now in a successful operation by the ISRO.