As India's Mars Orbiter Mission races for its tryst with the red planet on September 24, Indian space scientists are gearing up for the critical manoeuvre of the spacecraft, sounding confident about the mission's success.
The spacecraft has covered 98% of its 300-day odyssey and the critical manoeuvre would be performed when the scientists restart the onboard liquid engine which is in sleep mode for nearly 10 months.
The MOM, India's first interplanetary mission, was launched on November 5, 2013 by India's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from the spaceport of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
At a media briefing, ISRO said it was confident about the MOM's success going by its performance so far.
"The remaining crucial thing is Mars Orbit Insertion, and if you see some missions have failed because of failures in estimates in the distance from the mars, and if you see the history they were at very early stages....," ISRO scientific secretary V Koteswara Rao said.
"We are very confident; there is no reason, not to be confident going by the performance of the system so far. We have covered 98 per cent of the journey and another 2 per cent we are going to complete soon. We are very confident, teams are all very confident," he said.
If the Rs 450 crore MOM mission turns out to be a success, ISRO would be the fourth space agency in the world to have sent a mission to Mars.
European Space Agency (ESA) of European consortium, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the US and Roscosmos of Russia are the only three agencies which have so far sent their missions to the red planet.
Only 21 of the total of 51 missions sent to Mars by various countries have been successful.