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.