iconimg Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 09, 2014
India's Mars Orbiter Spacecraft  more commonly known as Mangalyaan, crossed the half-way mark of its journey to the Red Planet  at  9.50 am on Wednesday. By then MOM would have travelled 337.5 million km in its elliptical orbit around Sun. Coincidentally this happens just a day after closest approach of Mars and Earth in their respective orbits which is called opposition.

Mangalyaan was launched onboard PSLV-C25 on November 5, 2013. It is slated to be inserted in Mars atmosphere on September 24, 2014.

On December 1, 2013, trans mars injection manoeuvre was conducted successfully and the spacecraft was set in its course towards planet Mars through a helio-centric trajectory.

Soon after the spacecraft crossed the sphere of influence of Earth, a Trajectory Correction Manoeuvre (TCM) was performed successfully on December 11, 2013.

"At present, the radio distance between the Spacecraft and the Earth is 39 million km. A signal from the Earth to the Spacecraft and back to Earth takes 4 minutes and 15 seconds.

Soon, the High Gain Antenna of the spacecraft will be put in service for handling communications with the ground stations," says Isro.

Isro has been continuously monitoring the spacecraft using its Deep Space Network complemented by that of NASA-JPL.
 
"Mars Orbiter Spacecraft and its five scientific instruments are in good health. Periodic tests are being done on the different levels of autonomy built into the Spacecraft for managing contingencies," said an official spokesperson of Isro.