Mars Orbiter Spacecraft's Orbit Raised
The first orbit-raising manoeuvre of India's Mars Orbiter Spacecraft was performed at 01:17 hrs Indian Standard Time (IST) early this morning (November 07, 2013) when the 440 Newton Liquid Engine of the spacecraft was fired for 416 seconds by commanding it from Spacecraft Control Centre (SCC) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Peenya, Bangalore. With this engine firing, the spacecraft's apogee (farthest point to Earth) has been raised to 28,825 km, while its perigee (nearest point to Earth) is at 252 km.
It may be recalled that Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, India's first interplanetary spacecraft, was launched into an elliptical earth orbit with a perigee of 248.4 km and an apogee of 23,550 km, inclined at an angle of 19.27 deg to the equator by India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in its twenty fifth flight (PSLV-C25). The achieved orbit was very close to the intended one. The launch was conducted from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota on November 05, 2013. The launch of Mars Orbiter Spacecraft occurred as scheduled from the First Launch Pad at 2:38 pm IST after a fifty six and a half hour count down.
Following its separation from the fourth stage of PSLV-C25 about 44 minutes after lift-off, the solar panels and the main dish shaped antenna of the Mars Orbiter spacecraft got successfully deployed. Subsequently, the other intended operations to accurately stabilise the spacecraft were also performed successfully.
All systems onboard the spacecraft are functioning normally. Further orbit raising maneuvers using the 440 Newton Liquid Engine are planned in the coming few days following which the spacecraft will be put on Mars Transfer Trajectory on December 01, 2013. This enables Mars orbiter spacecraft to travel to the vicinity of Mars in September 2014 after a 300 day journey in deep space. At that time, the 440 Newton Liquid Engine is fired again to slow down the spacecraft to enable it to be captured by Martian gravity into an orbit around it.
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