ISRO’s Mars orbiter enters Mars’ Sphere of Influence

Image courtesy: ISRO

Image courtesy: ISRO  

Cruising towards its historic rendezvous with the Red Planet, India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) on Monday entered Mars’ gravitational Sphere of Influence ahead of its scheduled Orbit Insertion on September 24.

“Our navigators’ calculations show that MOM has entered the gravitational Sphere of Influence of Mars,” ISRO said on its social networking site, adding, the spacecraft was within 5.4 lakh km radius of the Mars’ gravitational Sphere of Influence.

The crucial fourth trajectory correction manoeuvre and test fire of the Main Liquid Engine on the spacecraft is scheduled for 2.30 PM today.

“We will also be test firing the main liquid fuel engine beneath the spacecraft for nearly four seconds to reactivate, as it was switched off after its trans-Mars injection over nine months ago into the Sun’s orbit for its voyage through the inter-planetary space,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Scientific Secretary V. Koteshwara Rao said.

Now that the spacecraft has entered the Mars’ influence, its velocity has to be controlled so that it does not escape the Mars’ influence, an official said, adding, the spacecraft is scheduled to enter the Mars Orbit Insertion at 7.30 AM IST on September 24.

The MOM, India’s first interplanetary mission, was >launched by India’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh last year.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 7:30:11 PM |

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