Bangalore, Dec 1 (IBNS) The critical manoeuvre to place India's Mars Orbiter Spacecraft in the Mars Transfer Trajectory was successfully carried out in the early hours of Sunday, said the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
During this manoeuvre, which began at 00:49 hours, the spacecraft's 440 Newton liquid engine was fired for about 22 minutes providing a velocity increment of 648 meters/second to the spacecraft.
Following the completion of this manoeuvre, the Earth orbiting phase of the spacecraft ended. The spacecraft is now on a course to encounter Mars after a journey of about 10 months around the Sun.
It may be recalled that Mars Orbiter spacecraft was launched into an elliptical parking orbit with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 248 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 23,550 km by India's workhorse launch vehicle PSLV on November 5, 2013.
Following this, the apogee height of the spacecraft's orbit was successively raised through a series of manoeuvres to nearly 1,93,000 km. Besides, health checks of the Mars
Orbiter spacecraft as well as its payloads were performed. Since its launch, all systems on-board Mars Orbiter spacecraft are performing
The spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Spacecraft Control Centre at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennae at Byalalu.
India launched its maiden Mission to Mars from Sriharikota in southern state of Andhra Pradesh on Nov 5.
The PSLV carrying ´Mangalyaan´ blasted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota with an orbiter craft designed to orbit Mars in an elliptical orbit.
The Mars Mission was announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year itself and if the mission is successful India would take a giant leap forward in space programme and perhaps beat China to reaching the Red Planet first.