Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, Mangalyaan, completed 100 days
The Mars Orbiter spacecraft, also called Mangalyaan, completed 100 days in space on 12 February 2014.
The Mars Orbiter spacecraft, also called Mangalyaan, completed 100 days in space on 12 February 2014. As per the rough estimation, it has covered a third of its journey towards the Red Planet.
Till now it has completed its curved travel of 190 million km towards Mars (the Red Planet) out of its total journey of 680 million km which it will be covering it over the next 210 days.
Although the orbiter has travelled 160 million km in a semicircular path, it is 16 million km away from Earth if an imaginary straight line is drawn between the two because Earth is also moving in the same direction.
The ground station of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) has been continuously monitoring it from Byalalu on the outskirts of Bangalore, Karnataka. ISTRAC is due to do a few course corrections as the orbiter covers the remaining 490 million km using the pre-set propulsion system.
All the five instruments on the Mars orbiter were switched on for tests and were found to be performing well on 6 February 2014,
Subsequent to six orbit raising manoeuvres around the Earth following the launch, the Trans Mars Injection (TMI) Manoeuvre on 1 December 2013 gave necessary thrust to the spacecraft to escape from Earth and to initiate the journey towards Mars, in a helio-centric orbit.
Three more such trajectory correction manouevres are slated for April 2014, August 2014 and September 2014. Then the spacecraft will be inserted into an orbit around Mars by an operation called Mars Orbit Insertion on 24 September 2014.
The Mangalyaan is scheduled to be near the Red Planet around mid-September after travelling nearly 300 days.
The first interplanetary probe, Mangalyaan, was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota on 5 November 2013. The main objective of India's launch is to check whether Mars ever had an environment in which life evolved and to explore Mars' surface, topography, mineralogy and atmosphere.