Chennai, Nov 10 (): The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on November 9 raised third time the orbit of its Mars bound Mangalyaan spacecraft from 40,186 km to 71,636 km.
ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (Istrac) at Bangalore had commanded the Mars Orbiter Mission’s 440-Newton engine to fire. Using its liquid propellants, the engine started the action from 2.10 A.M. for 12 minutes and successfully raised from 40,186 km to 71,636 km.
The 1,350-kg Mangalyaan Orbiter was injected on Tuesday successfully by ISRO PSLV C25 into orbit around Earth in 44 minutes after the launch at 2.38 PM from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The spacecraft was originally placed at an apogee of 23,500 km by the PSLV-25 rocket.
The fourth and fifth orbit-raising operation would be on November 11 and 16 to raise the apogee to 1,00,000 km and 1,92,000 km.
The final and sixth firing will be performed on December 1 when the spacecraft will be sent out of the earth’s orbit into a sun-centric orbit. This “crucial event” of the trans-Mars injection will take place around 12.42 a.m on December 1.
ISRO officials said, “This enables the 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 the Martian gravity into an orbit around it.”
Mangalyaan is expected to reach the red planet’s orbit on September 24, 2014, which is 400 million kilometres away.
AS Kiran Kumar, director of Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad said “The colour photometer on Mangalyaan is scheduled to take pictures of Earth on November 11.”