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Mars mission completes 100 days in space

An artistic illustration of the MOM orbiting Mars. An ISRO image

BANGALORE (PTI): India's first inter-planetary probe, Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, is completing 100 days in space on Wednesday in its voyage towards the Red Planet.

The health of the spacecraft, launched by the country's workhorse rocket PSLV-C25 on November 5, 2013 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, was described as "normal" by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

ISRO said health parameters of all the payloads are normal and the spacecraft was presently at a radio distance of 16 million km causing a one way communication delay of approximately 55 seconds.

After travelling the remaining distance of about 490 million km over the next 210 days, the spacecraft would be inserted into the Martian orbit on September 24, it added.

Subsequent to six orbit raising manoeuvres around the Earth following the launch, the Trans Mars Injection (TMI) manoeuvre on December 1, 2013 gave necessary thrust to the spacecraft to escape from Earth and to initiate the journey towards Mars, in a helio-centric Orbit.

This journey is long wherein the spacecraft has to travel 680 million km out of which a travel of 190 million km is completed so far, ISRO said in a release.

Pointing out that the first Trajectory Correction Manoeuvre was conducted on December 11, ISRO said "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 space agency said.

It said the spacecraft is continuously being monitored by the ground station of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), located at Byalalu, near Bangalore.

"Except for a 40 minute break in the Telemetry data received from the spacecraft to the ground station, data has been continuously available for all the 100 days.

Explaining that the propulsion system of the spacecraft is configured for TCMs and the Mars Orbit Insertion Operation, it said on February 6 all the five payloads on Mars Orbiter spacecraft were switched 'ON' to check their health.


MOM  India  ISRO  Red Planet  Mars  

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