Mangalyaan – India's first spacecraft to Mars has just two more months to enter the Red Planet. The spacecraft will be injected into Mars atmosphere on September 24 this year.
"MOM has covered more than 540 million km on its heliocentric journey to the red planet. Yes that' a whopping 80%. MOM and its payloads are in good health," says the facebook page of Isro Mar's Orbiter Mission.
A tricky path correction was performed on Mangalyaan last month. Another correction may be done in August.
India's space programme reached a major milestone on November 5 last year, when it launched the MarsOrbiter Mission, commonly known as Mangalyaan from Sriharikota on an 11-month journey to find evidence of life on the Red Planet and position it as a budget player in the global space race.
Isro had initially planned four corrections during its journey to Mars. The manoeuvres are needed to keep the spacecraft on the required path. It is also essential for maintaining the required velocity.
Mangalyaan is on its 680-million-km voyage to Mars. If it makes it, India will join a select club comprising the US, Russia and Europe. Once in the Mars orbit, the orbiter's five payloads will then start performing experiments for the next six months.
Meanwhile Isro is gearing up for its next major launch next month – GSLV MkIII experimental mission carrying the crew module. The date of the launch is yet to be finalised.
"For the manned mission, we need a crew module in which the astronauts will be housed. This will orbit and can then be recovered. We are planning an experimental flight of GSLV Mk III with passive cryogenic stage in August this year to validate the vehicle performance during the atmospheric phase of the flight. The first developmental flight of GSLV-Mk III is targeted for 2016," an Isro spokesperson said.