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Mangalyaan completes 100 days in space

New Delhi, Feb 12 (): India’s first interplanetary mission, Mangalyaan, completes 100 days of its voyage towards Mars on February 12, Wednesday. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said Mangalyaan is successful in its mission, all the payloads are normal and is moving steadily towards the red planet, Mars.

Mangalyaan, the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), was put into Earth orbit on board indigenous PSLV-C25 rocket on November 5, 2013 at 02:38pm (0908 GMT) by the ISRO from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

ISRO said the spacecraft is at present moving at a radio distance of 16 million km from Earth causing a one-way communication delay of approximately 55 seconds.

Although the orbiter has journeyed 160 million km in a semi-circular path, it is 16 million km away from Earth if an imaginary straight line is drawn between the two because Earth is also moving in the same direction, an official explained.

The orbiter is on a 300-day journey and will cover a distance of over 680 million km in an elliptical orbit and is expected to reach the Red Planet on September 24, 2014. In the remaining days of the journey, the orbiter has to travel a distance of about 490 million km.

On February 6, all the five instruments on the Mars orbiter were switched on for tests and were found to be performing well. ISRO said 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.

Mangalyaan has been endlessly 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 constantly available for all the 100 days.

On December 11, the First Trajectory Correction Manoeuvre (TCM) was also conducted and the route of the spacecraft, till today, is moving as expected. Three more TCM operations have been planned in April, August and September.