Mars orbiter completes 75 per cent of journey

Mars orbiter completes 75 per cent of journeyBangalore: India’s Mars orbiter spacecraft has completed 75 per cent of its journey for its rendezvous with the red planet scheduled for September 24.

The spacecraft has covered a distance of approximately 510 million kilometers on its heliocentric arc towards Mars capture, Bangalore headquartered ISRO said.

With this, three-fourth of the 300-day voyage in deep space to Mars has been completed. MOM and her payloads are in good health, ISRO said in a post on its Mars Orbit Mission Facebook page.

In the last crucial milestone, ISRO performed the second Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM-2) on its Mars Orbiter spacecraft on June 11 by firing the spacecraft’s 22 Newton thrusters for 16 seconds. Mid-course corrections are done to keep the spacecraft on course.

Another trajectory correction maneuver is planned for August before ISRO performs the Mars Orbit Insertion in September.

The ambitious Mars mission under a Rs 450 crore project was launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh onboard the Pollar Satellite Launch Vehicle on November 5 last year with an aim to reach the red planet’s atmosphere by September 24.

The project is expected to provide the scientific community better opportunities in planetary research.

The spacecraft has been configured to carry out observation of physical features of Mars and limited study of Martian atmosphere with five payloads. ISRO has incorporated autonomous features in MOM spacecraft to handle contingencies.–TI