India’s Mars orbiter set for Red Planet rendezvous (+video)

India’s first-ever mission to Mars is ready to make its historic arrival this week, hot on the heels of a NASA probe that just reached the Red Planet on Sunday.
After a 10-month trek, India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is expected to reach Mars on at 7:41 a.m. India Standard Time on Wednesday, Sept. 24 (that’s 10:11 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 23) after a firing its engine for 24 minutes to enter orbit around the planet. Confirmation of the success (or failure) of this crucial maneuver should come to ground control minutes later, mission officials have said.
India’s Mars orbiter is named Mangalyaan (Hindi for “Mars Craft”), and is in good health and ready for its Martian rendezvous, officials with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) wrote in updates on Facebook. If all goes well, India will become only the fourth country ever to send a spacecraft to Mars once the orbiter arrives.