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Isro’s Mars spacecraft successfully completed its second ‘orbit-raising maneuver’ today, three days after it successfully lifted clear of the Sriharikota spaceport.
The first ‘orbit-raising maneuver’, which involved the firing of a thruster, was earlier performed on Thursday as part of a series of five such scheduled operations.
The maneuvers are designed to propel the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) towards the Red Planet, Isro scientists said. As the spacecraft lacks the power to fly directly to Mars, the probe will orbit the Earth for nearly a month and the thruster firings are designed to build up the escape velocity to break free from the Earth’s gravitational pull.
“The total fuel consumed in the second round of firing was 83kg. The MOM’s health is normal,” the scientists added.
During the fifth and final orbit raising activity, the orbiter will be put on Mars Transfer Trajectory on December 1. It will then travel to the vicinity of Mars in September 2014 after 300 days of space voyage to study various aspects of the planet with the help of its five payloads.
(With inputs from agencies)