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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

'Mangalyaan completes last orbit raising manoeuvre'

Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times  New Delhi , November 16, 2013
First Published: 08:49 IST(16/11/2013) | Last Updated: 16:50 IST(16/11/2013)

The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) or Mangalyaan completed a fifth and last repositioning to take it almost two lakh km from Earth successfully on Saturday morning, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) said.

Now, the spacecraft will brace itself for the next critical event on December 1 when it has to move out of the Earth's sphere of influence and move towards Mars.

"The fifth orbit raising manoeuvre of Mangalyaan starting at 01.27 hrs on November 16 with a burn time of 243.5 seconds has been successfully completed. The observed change in apogee is from 1,18,642km to 1,92,874km," Isro said in a statement.

Saturday's operation was the culmination of the various baby steps the spacecraft has been taking since November 7, by gradually soaring to higher apogees around Earth.

After about 300 days, it will finally enter the Mars orbit on September 24, 2014. The five payloads on the spacecraft will then perform various experiments to know about more about the Red Planet.

During the orbit raising operations, Isro has been testing and exercising autonomy functions that are essential for Trans-Mars Injection (TMI) and Mars Orbit Insertion.

Mangalyaan is being launched on its way via an unusual "slingshot" method for interplanetary journeys.

Lacking a large enough rocket to blast directly out of Earth's atmosphere and gravitational pull, the spacecraft is orbiting Earth until the end of the month while building up enough velocity to break free.

The Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, India's first interplanetary spacecraft, blasted off on Nov 5 into an elliptical earth orbit by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle on its 25th flight (PSLV-C25) for a 11-month trip to the Red Planet from Sriharikota.


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