NEW DELHI

AFP-India’s Mars spacecraft was successfully raised into a higher orbit around Earth early on Tuesday, after a brief engine failure during an earlier attempt, the space agency said.

The Mars Orbiter Mission, which blasted off on November 5 for 11-month trip to the Red Planet, is being launched on its way via an unusual slingshot method for interplanetary journeys. Lacking a large enough rocket to blast directly out of Earth’s atmosphere and gravitational pull, the Indian spacecraft is orbiting Earth until the end of the month while building up enough velocity to break free.

On Tuesday, the spacecraft completed a fourth repositioning to take it 100,000 kilometres (62,000 miles) from Earth, after the thruster engines failed during an attempt on Monday, leading the auto-pilot to take over. “Fourth supplementary orbit raising manoeuvre of Mars Orbiter Spacecraft... has been successfully completed,” the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement. The first three manoeuvres, which involve firing additional fuel into the rocket’s engine, were successfully performed last week. The ISRO said the brief engine failure on Monday was not a setback to the ambitious low-cost mission.