Indian Mars Orbiter completes 100 days in space

Indian Mars Orbiter completes 100 days in space

With six successful orbit-raising manoeuvres around the earth, the Mars orbiter, India’s first interplanetary probe, on Tuesday completed 100 days in space.

The probe was launched by PSLV-C25 at 2:38 pm on November 5, 2013, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The Trans Mars Injection (TMI) manoeuvre on December 1, 2013, gave the orbiter necessary thrust to escape earth’s gravitational field and initiate its journey towards Mars in a helio-centric orbit.

The spacecraft has traversed 190 million km out of its 680 million-km-long journey to the red planet.

The trajectory of the spacecraft, till today, is as expected. Three more TCM operations are planned around April 2014, August 2014, and September 2014. The First Trajectory Correction Manoeuvre (TCM) was conducted on December 11, 2013.

The orbiter’s health is normal and is being monitored continuously by the ground station of Isro Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network, located at Byalalu, near Bangalore. Except for a 40-minute break in the telemetry data received from the spacecraft to the ground station, data was continuously accessed for 100 days.

The propulsion system of the spacecraft is configured for TCMs and the Mars Orbit Insertion Operation. On February 6, last, all five payloads on the Mars orbiter were “switched on” to check its health. The health parameters of all the payloads are normal. Presently, the spacecraft is at a radio distance of 16 million km causing a one way communication delay of approximately 55 seconds.

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