When sending spacecraft to Mars, the current, preferred method involves shooting spacecraft towards Mars at full-speed, then performing a braking maneuver once the ship is close enough to slow it down and bring it into orbit.
Tonight is a big night for the planet occupied entirely by robots: the Mars Orbiter Mission is the second spacecraft in two days to slip into orbit around the red planet, and the first interplanetary mission from India. Don't take this accomplishment lightly: the failure rate for Mars missions is still painfully high.
India's recently launched Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) ran into a bit of trouble this weekend when a planned engine burn failed to raise the spacecraft to the correct orbital distance around Earth in the lead-up to its Mars departure, scheduled for later this month.
India is ready for its first ever space mission to the Red Planet, with its Mars Orbiter Mission (or "MOM") set to launch as early as October 28th. And yeah – you bet your ass they're looking for methane.