Bangalore: Exactly 100 days from Monday, India's Mars spacecraft is scheduled for a rendezvous with the red planet as it is rapidly coasting towards its target covering almost 70 per cent of its journey. On September 24, a very significant technological milestone of Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) called Mars Orbit Insertion is planned, Bangalore headquartered Indian Space Research Organisation said.
MOM, which is rapidly racing towards its target in its 300-day voyage in deep space, is at a radio distance of 108 million km from earth. A signal takes six minutes to reach Earth from MOM. The spacecraft and its five payloads are in good health, ISRO said in a post on its Mars Orbit Mission Facebook page.
In a crucial milestone, ISRO performed the second Trajectory Correction Manoeuvre (TCM-2) on its Mars Orbiter spacecraft on June 11, at 4.30 pm by firing the spacecraft's 22 Newton thrusters for 16 seconds. Mid-course corrections are done to keep the spacecraft on course.
100 days for India's Mars spacecraft's tryst with red planet
Another trajectory correction manoeuvre has been planned in August before the space agency performs the Mars Orbit Insertion in September. The ambitious Mars mission was launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh onboard the Pollar Satellite Launch Vehicle on November 5 last year with an aim to reach the red planet's atmosphere by September 24 this year.
The Rs 450-crore project is expected to provide the scientific community better opportunities in planetary research. The spacecraft has been configured to carry out observation of physical features of Mars and limited study of Martian atmosphere with five payloads. ISRO has incorporated autonomous features in MOM spacecraft to handle contingencies.