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Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times
Sriharikota, November 04, 2013
The countdown for India's Mars Mission which began at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota at 06:08am on Sunday is progressing smoothly.
The total countdown time till the final launch is 56 hours 30 minutes. The launch is to take place on November 5 at 02:38pm.

According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro),  the propellant filling of PS4 stage was completed on Sunday. "The mandatory checks and preparations for propellant filling operations of second stage (PS2)  are now in progress," an Isro spokesperson said.

After the launch, the Orbiter will remain under the sphere of influence of earth before it moves  to the heliocentric (sun-centric) orbit on December 1, 2013 at 12:42am. It will remain in the trans-Martian orbit for nearly 300 days before finally entering the Mars orbit on September 24, 2014. It will be re-oriented and slowed down to enter the Martian orbit.

PSLV-C25, the 25th mission of PSLV and fifth in the XL configuration, will carry the 1,337 kg Mars Orbiter Satellite into a 250 km X 23,500 km elliptical orbit.

It has five indigenously-designed payloads to carry different scientific experiments once it reaches the Martian atmosphere.

Originally, the launch date was scheduled for October 28, but bad weather conditions  forced Isro scientists to postpone it. Compared to the earlier PSLV missions, this one has a long coasting phase  between the third stage (PS3) burn-out and the fourth stage (PS4) ignition.

The total flight duration before the injection of the Orbiter is nearly 47 minutes, much more than the usual flight time of 20 minutes.