Zee Media Bureau/Salome Phelamei
Bangalore: India’s first interplanetary mission, the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), will get its first Trajectory Correction Manoeuvre (TCM) on December 11, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said on Monday.
As Mangalyaan continues its fuel-less journey to the Red Planet, the Indian space agency will carry out the first trajectory correction manoeuvre on December 11.
Although the Mars spacecraft is travelling in the intended trajectory, ISRO has planned four trajectory corrections to fine tune it so as to keep it in the correct intended track. The second
TMC is happening in April 2014, then in August 2014, and then in September 2014.
“We have already imparted the velocity required by MOM to reach Mars during the Trans-Mars Injection (on December 1) and now MOM is cruising with a velocity of about 32.8 km/s. The first TCM is scheduled on December 11,” ISRO sources said.
The propulsion system of MOM, which is to travel a total distance of about 680 million km, will be using monomethyl hydrazine as fuel and dinitrogen tetroxide as oxidizer during all the four TCMs, they said.
MOM was not taking the shortest route to the Red Planet, since accelerating and later decelerating to match the planet’s speed would require an extremely large amount of fuel in that option, said ISRO while interacting with space enthusiasts in its official page on social networking site Facebook.
“The route which requires the least amount of fuel is an elliptical orbit which forms a tangent to the Mars’ and Earth’s orbit around the Sun. MOM is travelling a distance of about 680 million km in this elliptical trajectory. This kind of transfer is called a Hohmann transfer,” ISRO said.
ISRO also said that the targeted mission life of MOM was six months after Mars Orbit Insertion.
“Fuel is required even in Martian orbit for orientation control of the spacecraft. The mission can be extended if such non-renewable resources in the spacecraft last longer,” it added.
The Mars Orbiter was launched into Earth orbit from the First Launch Pad at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on 5 November, 2013, by ISRO’s PSLV-C25 rocket.
With PTI Inputs