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India Set to Launch Orbiter to Mars

Purestock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- India will soon be joining some rare company, becoming only the fourth country in the world to launch a mission to Mars.

It's being hailed as a technological breakthrough. The 3,000-pound spacecraft is called Mangalyaan, Hindi for "Mars-craft," and once it's launched, it will cruise through space for 300 days before reaching the red planet.

When it arrives, it will stay in orbit anywhere from six to ten months, taking photos and testing the planet for gases.  

Unlike NASA's famous Mars Rover, India's Mars-craft won't send a robot directly to the surface.

The launch window is from Oct. 28 to Nov 19. If the launch is successful, the spacecraft will reach Mars in September 2014.

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