Mars Orbiter Spacecraft’s orbit raised

marsBANGALORE: The first orbit-raising maneuver of India’s Mars Orbiter Spacecraft was performed in the wee hours today, two days after its successful launch by PSLV C-25 into orbit around the Earth.

At 1.17 AM the 440 Newton Liquid Engine of the spacecraft was fired for 416 seconds by commanding it from Spacecraft Control Centre (SCC) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) here.

“With this engine firing, the spacecraft’s apogee (farthest point to Earth) has been raised to 28,825 km, while its perigee (nearest point to Earth) is at 252 km”, Bangalore-headquartered ISRO said in a statement.

The spacecraft on India’s first interplanetary mission was launched into an elliptical earth orbit with a perigee of 248.4 km and an apogee of 23,550 km, inclined at an angle of 19.27 deg to the equator by India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in its 25th flight on November 5.

The achieved orbit was very close to the intended one.

The launch, conducted from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota, took place as scheduled from the first launch pad at 2:38 pm after a 56-and-a-half hour countdown.

Following its separation from the fourth stage of PSLV-C25 about 44 minutes after lift-off, the solar panels and the main dish shaped antenna of the spacecraft got successfully deployed. Subsequently, the other intended operations to accurately stabilize the spacecraft were also performed successfully, the space agency said.

“All systems onboard the spacecraft are functioning normally. Further orbit raising maneuvers using the 440 Newton Liquid Engine are planned in the coming few days following which the spacecraft will be put on Mars Transfer Trajectory on December 01, 2013”, it said.

“This enables Mars orbiter spacecraft to travel to the vicinity of Mars in September 2014 after a 300 day journey in deep space. At that time, the 440 Newton Liquid Engine is fired again to slow down the spacecraft to enable it to be captured by Martian gravity into an orbit around it”, ISRO added. -PTI

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