Mars Orbiter leaves sphere of Earth’s influence

The Mars Orbiter of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) left the sphere of influence (SOI) of Earth early on Wednesday when it crossed 9,25,000 km in its journey to the red planet at around 1.14 hours.

Written by Express News Service | Bangalore | Published: December 5, 2013 5:08 am

The Mars Orbiter of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) left the sphere of influence (SOI) of Earth early on Wednesday when it crossed 9,25,000 km in its journey to the red planet at around 1.14 hours.

This is the first time that an Indian spacecraft has exited the SOI of the Earth. The orbiter will now be under the influence of the Sun and other planets as it makes its way towards Mars for a rendezvous on September 21,2014.

The furthest an Indian spacecraft had travelled before the Mars Orbiter was 3,85,000 km by Chandrayaan 1 to get to the Moon in 2008. The orbiter crossed that mark Monday.

Communication between the spacecraft and Earth stations has been enabled with the activation of the medium gain antenna on the orbiter. The spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the spacecraft control centre at Isro telemetry,tracking and command network in Bangalore with support from the Indian deep space network antennae in Byalalu.

The spacecraft had exited Earth’s orbit 49 minutes after midnight on Sunday. It is now on a course to encounter Mars after a journey of about 10 months around the Sun.

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