India’s Mars Orbiter Mission cruises towards rendezvous with red planet

The spacecraft is scheduled to enter the Mars Orbit Insertion on Wednesday.

By: Press Trust of India | Chennai | Updated: September 22, 2014 3:29:49 pm
ISRO said the spacecraft was within 5.4 lakh km radius of the Mars' Gravitational Sphere of Influence. (Source: ISRO/file) ISRO said the spacecraft was within 5.4 lakh km radius of the Mars’ Gravitational Sphere of Influence. (Source: ISRO/file)

Cruising towards its historic rendezvous with the red planet, India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) on Monday entered the Mars Gravitational Sphere of Influence ahead of its scheduled Orbit Insertion on September 24.

“Our navigators’ calculations show that MOM has entered the Gravitational Sphere of Influence of Mars,” ISRO said on its social networking site, adding, the spacecraft was within 5.4 lakh km radius of the Mars’ Gravitational Sphere of Influence.

 Scientists and engineers from the ISRO monitor India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) at ISRO Spacecraft Control Centre, Peenya in Bengaluru on Monday. (Source: PTI photo) Scientists and engineers from the ISRO monitor India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) at ISRO Spacecraft Control Centre, Peenya in Bengaluru on Monday. (Source: PTI photo)

After being launched from ISRO’s spaceport of Sriharikota on November 5 last year, the MOM had left Earth’s orbit on December 1 and began its historic voyage to put India on the list of elite nations, which has sent a mission to Mars.

orbit-m The spacecraft was launched from ISRO’s spaceport of Sriharikota on November 5 last year. (Source: ISRO)

“MOM has entered the Mars Gravitational Sphere of Influence this morning and we will perform certain procedures on the mission on Monday. The fourth trajectory correction manoeuvre and test firing of Main Liquid Engine will be test fired for 3.968 seconds,” an ISRO official told PTI.

Scientist Mylswamy Annadurai explains about the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft at ISRO Spacecraft Control Centre, Peenya in Bengaluru on Monday,. (Source: PTI) Scientist Mylswamy Annadurai explains about the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft at ISRO Spacecraft Control Centre, Peenya in Bengaluru on Monday,. (Source: PTI)

Now that the spacecraft has entered the Mars’ influence, its velocity has to be controlled so that it does not escape the Mars’ influence, he said, adding, the spacecraft is scheduled to enter the Mars Orbit Insertion at 7.30 AM IST on September 24.

MOM-2-L Spacecraft Testing: Mars Orbiter Mission is India’s first interplanetary mission to planet Mars. (Source: ISRO)

The crucial fourth trajectory correction manoeuvre and test fire of the main liquid engine on the spacecraft is scheduled for 2.30 PM on Monday.

Spacecraft Testing: Spacecraft Testing: It has been configured to carry out observation of physical features of mars. (Source: ISRO)

The MOM, India’s first interplanetary mission, was launched by India’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle from the spaceport of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

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