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India's Mars mission to blast off Nov 5
Tuesday October 22, 2013 6:44 PM, IANS

India's ambitious Rs.450 crore space mission to Mars has now been fixed for blast-off Nov 5, said a top Indian space agency official Tuesday.

"The Mars mission has been fixed for Nov 5. The heat shield of the rocket (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-PSLV) has been closed and the final electrical checks will be carried out Wednesday," K.Radhakrishnan, chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), told IANS.

The ISRO will be firing its landmark rocket soon after Diwali from its spaceport in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, around 80 km from here.

The rocket will blast off in the afternoon of Nov 5, a Tuesday. In Tamil, Mars planet is called Sevvai Graham and Tuesday is also called Sevvai. In Hindi, Mars is called Mangal and Tuesday is Mangalwar.

On Oct 19, ISRO chairman K.Radhakrishnan told IANS that the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) will be delayed by a week as of the two ships - Nalanda and Yamuna - carrying rocket tracking systems, only one has reached Fiji.

From Fiji, both the ships have to travel to their respective locations to track the rocket.

The ships have terminals to track the rocket, which has a coasting period of around 20 minutes beyond the visibility of existing ground stations.

The Mangalayaan mission was originally slated for Oct 28.

According to ISRO officials, there is no problem as far as the mission is concerned.

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