India Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft Mangalyaan
Artist's concept illustration of Mangalyaan: India's Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft. Nesnad

With the successful test-firing of the liquid apogee engine aboard India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), the spacecraft is all set for orbit insertion.

The orbit insertion on Wednesday will be performed by firing the motor along with eight smaller liquid engines for a duration of about 24 minutes, said a press release from Isro, the Indian space agency.

The 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor, last fired on 1 December, 2013, was successfully fired for 3.968 seconds on Monday. This operation was also used for the spacecraft's trajectory correction and changed its velocity by 2.18 metre/second.

The MOM craft has travelled over 680 million kilometres in the heliocentric approach to Mars since its launch in November last year.

With the orbit insertion on Wednesday, India will be the fourth nation after the US, Russia and the EU to deploy a satellite on Mars.