February 11, 2014
100 Days Of Mars Orbiter Spacecraft
Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, India's first interplanetary probe, was launched by PSLV-C25 at 1438 hours on November 5, 2013 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. In its voyage towards Mars, the mission successfully completes 100 days in space tomorrow (February 12, 2014).
Subsequent to six orbit raising manoeuvres around the Earth following the launch, the Trans Mars Injection(TMI) Manoeuvre on December 01, 2013 gave necessary thrust to the spacecraft to escape from Earth and to initiate the journey towards Mars, in a helio-centric Orbit. This journey, of course, is long wherein the spacecraft has to travel 680 million km out of which a travel of 190 million km is completed so far.
The First Trajectory Correction Manoeuvre (TCM) was conducted on December 11, 2013. The trajectory of the spacecraft, till today, is as expected. Three more TCM operations are planned around April 2014, August 2014 and September 2014.
The spacecraft health is normal. The spacecraft is continuously 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 continuously available for all the 100 days.
The propulsion system of the spacecraft is configured for TCMs and the Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI) Operation. On February 6, 2014, all the five payloads on Mars Orbiter spacecraft were switched 'ON' to check their health.
The health parameters of all the payloads are normal. Presently, the spacecraft is at a radio distance of 16 million km causing a one way communication delay of approximately 55 seconds. After travelling the remaining distance of about 490 million km over the next 210 days, the spacecraft would be inserted into the Martian Orbit on September 24, 2014.