Zee Media Bureau/Salome Phelamei
Bangalore: India’s Mars Orbiter spacecraft is set to begin its 300-day voyage to the Red Planet on Sunday.
The spacecraft entered the final orbit around the Earth early Wednesday with the scientists gearing up for trans-Mars injection on December 1.
“For the trans-Mars injection, we are planning to depart on 1 December 2013, early hours at 00:49 hours IST and we are going to burn a liquid engine for a duration of roughly 23 minutes which will impart an incremental velocity of 648 metres per second consuming a fuel of 198 kgs,” said ISRO scientific Secretary V Koteswara Rao.
“Then it travels a long path... after travelling roughly for 680 million kilometres through this path, it comes closer to Mars on 24 September of next year 2014,” added Rao.
The 1,337 kg Orbiter was raised to an apogee of 192,874 km on 16 November 2013 in the sixth orbit raising manoeuvre.
The velocity of the spacecraft will increase by 648 metres per second as it begins new journey and is expected to reach the Red Planet on September 24 next year, three days behind NASA’s MAVEN mission.
Rao said that ISRO would closely monitor if there is any minor deviation in the path.
The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), informally called Mangalyaan, is a Mars orbiter and was launched into Earth orbit on board PSLV rocket on 5 November by the Indian Space Research organisation from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.