Bangaore (ISJ): Indian space scientists successfully hurled Mangalyaan or the Mars Orbiter spacecraft out of Earth's orbit to the Red Planet's transfer trajectory, taking them a step closer to a record of first sure shot at Mars by any nation. The critical move was carried out in the early hours of Sunday (Dec. 01) shifting the spacecraft on its 10-month long journey around the Sun.
"During this manoeuvre, which began at 00:49 today, the spacecraft's 440 Newton liquid engine was fired for about 22 minutes providing a velocity increment of 648 meters/second to the spacecraft. Following the completion of this manoeuvre, the Earth orbiting phase of the spacecraft ended," said ISRO in a release.
The trans-Mars insertion of the 1,300-kg spacecraft was carried out by firing at the engine of the aircraft to give it the power to hurl it out of earth's orbit and thrust out on the path to Mars.
ISRO said, the spacecraft and all systems on-board, which are being continuously monitored from Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore and Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennae at Byalalu, are performing normally.
The ambitious space mission ? Mangalyaan - was launched on November 05 by ISRO's workhorse launch vehicle PSLV and the Ground Control Centre raised the apogee height (farthest point to Earth) of the aircraft in five calibrated moves from 248 km to 1,93,000 km.
The 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.