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Mars mission launch delayed by about a week

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Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft being prepared for a prelaunch test at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Srihairkota. Photo: ISRO.

BANGALORE (PTI): Launch of India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has been delayed by almost a week and a decision on the new date would be taken on October 22, ISRO said on Saturday.

The launch window for the MOM mission was earlier slated from October 28 to November 19 and a decision on the launch date was to be taken on Saturday.

"The decision on the date of launch of MOM was postponed due to bad weather in the South Pacific Ocean. The ship-borne communication terminals were on their way there," an ISRO spokesman told PTI here.

The two ships SCI Yamuna and SCI Nalanda - leased from the Shipping Corporation of India to study the crucial period when the rocket ejects the spacecraft into space - left for the South Pacific Ocean in mid-September from Visakhapatnam.

The American NASA/JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) is also providing communications and navigation support to this mission with their deep space network facilities.

The decision on the date of launch of MOM was to have been taken on Saturday.

The spokesman said the Launch Authorization Board would have another session on October 22 when the date would be finalised. "Otherwise, everything is fine with the satellite and launch vehicle".

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