Mangalyaan begins 100th orbit around Mars, still in good health

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 22, 2015 22:43 IST

India’s Mars Orbiter spacecraft on Monday started its 100th orbit around the red planet, three months after it completed its prime mission life.

The spacecraft is still healthy and operational, and will complete its century on June 25, a release by the Indian Space Research Organisation ( Isro) said.

The Mars Orbiter Mission ( MoM) or Mangalyaan was designed for an active life of six months in Mars orbit, which was completed on March 24 this year.

The camera and systems on board were last operated in May and were all found to be working well. So far the Mars Colour Camera ( MCC) on board has sent back 405 frames of our neighbouring planet.

The camera will start again in a few weeks, as the spacecraft is presently in a 'blackout phase' with its orbit taking it behind the sun from earth's point of view.

The current elliptical orbit has a periareion (nearest point to Mars) of 474 km and an apoareion (farthest point to Mars) of 71, 132 km, Isro said.

Mangalyaan blasted off from Sriharikota in November 2013 and reached the Martian orbit in September last year, making Isro only the fourth space agency to accomplish the feat.

It still has plenty of fuel left in its tanks and can continue to go around the red planet for years even after the systems on board shut down.

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