Bangalore (ISJ): After an initial hiccup, scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully raised the Mars Orbiter to 1.18 kms. away from Earth on Tuesday (Nov. 12). The spacecraft encountered its first glitch on Monday, when it failed to reach the desired velocity, forcing ISRO to go for a supplementary orbit raising exercise.
"Fourth supplementary orbit raising manoeuvre of Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, starting at 0503 hours on November 12, 2013 with a burn time of 303.8 seconds (5 minutes 3.8 seconds) has been successfully completed. The observed change in Apogee is from 78,276 km. to 1,18,642 kms," said ISRO in a press release.
India's maiden interplanetary mission was launched on November 05. The spacecraft will orbit Earth for 25 days before attaining speed to catapult its way out of earth's gravitational pull on its 780-million-km flight to the Red Planet.
The mission made it to international headlines for being cost-effective at Rs. 450 crores or approximately 71 million US dollars as against NASA's MAVEN at a cost of 2.5 billion US dollars.
Mars Orbiter or 'Mangalyaan' will have to travel more than 200 million kilometers before it reaches the orbit around the Red Planet in September, 2014.
The 1,350 kgs robotic spacecraft carries five scientific payloads to observe Martian surface, atmosphere and exosphere extending up to 80,000 km for a detailed understanding of the evolution of that planet, especially the related geologic and the possible biogenic processes on that interesting planet. These payloads consist of a camera, two spectrometers, a radiometer and a photometer. Together, they have a weight of about 15 kg.
ISRO is collaborating with USA?s NASA in the mission. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is providing communication and navigation support with their Deep Space Network facilities.
With the successful launch of the spacecraft, India joins the select club of spacefaring nations to attempt this feat. However, only three other space agencies ? USA's NASA, Russia's Roscosmos and the European Nation Space Agency have so far reached Earth's closest neighbour. Chinese and Japanese missions however, failed.