India’s Mars orbiter spacecraft, Mangalyaan, has completed 75% of its journey to the red planet, scheduled for September 24 this year.
“The spacecraft has covered a distance of approximately 510 million kilometres on its heliocentric arc towards Mars capture. With this, three-fourth of its journey to Mars been completed. MOM and her payloads are in good health,” the Facebook page of Isro’s Mars Orbit Mission said.
India moved one step closer to reaching Mars on June 11 when Isro successfully carried out a trajectory correction of Mangalyaan. This was the second trajectory correction since the spacecraft moved out of the Earth’s orbit on December 1 last year. The manoeuvres are needed to maintain the spacecraft’s correct path and required velocity.
According to sources there will be one more trajectory correction in August before the spacecraft enters the Mars atmosphere on September 24.
India’s space programme reached a major milestone last year, when it launched the mission 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.