ISRO pushes Mangalyan a small step closer to Mars
By Express News Service | Published: 08th November 2013 03:46 PM |
In the wee hours of Thursday, ISRO successfully performed the first manoeuvre to raise the orbit of its landmark Mars Orbiter Mission. And by the time you read this, it would have performed the second manoeuvre as well. A statement from the space agency has said all systems are working fine and that things are going according to plan.
The first orbit raising manoeuvre was carried out at 1.17 am on Thursday from the Spacecraft Command Centre (SCC) at the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Peenya in Bangalore. The 440 Newton engine of the Mars Orbiter Mission, which uses liquid propellant, was fired for 416 seconds to widen the spacecraft’s orbit around the Earth.
The perigee was raised to 252 km and the apogee was raised to 28,825 km. The spacecraft was injected into the elliptical orbit by the PSLV-C25 on Tuesday, with perigee of 248.4 km and apogee of 23,550 km.
Thursday’s manoeuvre was the first of six operations, each of which will push the Mars Orbiter Mission in a wider orbit around the Earth. The engines are then scheduled to be fired on December 1, to enable the spacecraft to escape the Earth’s gravitational pull. Once this is achieved, the craft will begin its journey to Mars, which will take about 300 days.
Mars Orbiter Mission Programme director told Express that the mission was going to plan and that the space agency was taking one step at a time to ensure the success of the mission.