Exactly 75 days from Saturday, India’s Mars spacecraft is scheduled for a rendezvous with the red planet as it is rapidly coasting towards its target.
Mars Orbiter Spacecraft has travelled 525 million km on its heliocentric arc. Radio signals from earth now take 15 minutes to reach MOM and return, Bangalore headquartered Indian Space Research Organisation said.
MOM’s Mars Orbit Insertion is planned exactly 75 days from Saturday, ISRO said in a post on its Mars Orbit Mission Facebook page.
In the last crucial milestone on June 11, ISRO performed the second Trajectory Correction Manoeuvre (TCM-2) on the orbiter as a mid-course correction to keep the spacecraft on course.
ISRO has planned another trajectory correction manoeuvre in August before the Mars Orbit Insertion in September.
The ambitious Mars mission under a Rs 450 crore project was launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh onboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle on November 5 last with an aim to reach the red planet’s atmosphere by September 24.