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India's Mars spacecraft 117 million kms away from Earth

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BANGALORE (PTI): India's Mars spacecraft has travelled 117 million kms from the Earth with 24 million kms more to cover before its tryst with the Red Planet in another 92 days.

The Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft, launched in November 2013, is travelling at a velocity of 23 km/s and the present distance between MOM and Mars is 24 million km, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said Tuesday.

The communication signals sent from MOM takes 6 minutes and 30 seconds to reach the Ground Stations, it said.

"Another 92 days to go for Mars Orbit Insertion," it said in a post on its Mars Orbiter Mission Facebook page.

In a crucial milestone, ISRO performed the second Trajectory Correction Manoeuvre (TCM-2) on the Mars Orbiter spacecraft on June 11, at 4.30 pm 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 manoeuvre is planned for August before ISRO performs the Mars Orbit Insertion in September.

The ambitious Mars mission was launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh onboard the Pollar Satellite Launch Vehicle on November 5 with an aim to reach the Red Planet's atmosphere by September 24 this year.

The Rs 450-crore project is expected to provide the scientific community deeper insights ino 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.

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India  Mars  ISRO  MoM  Spacecraft  Earth  Planet  
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