by Staff Writers
New Delhi, Feb 12, 2017
Scientists of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), have successfully executed crucial orbital maneuvering on Mars spacecraft to give it another lease of life.
The Mission was facing imminent death as it was to face an eclipse during which dark shadows of Mars would block light to spacecraft’s solar panel.
After hours long remotely controlled execution which activated onboard thrust rockets to tweak the spacecraft’s orbit, ISRO claims that Mars probe will sustain till year 2020.
Scientists say that eclipse would have lasted more than eight hours while onboard battery’s storage could provide power to spacecraft for only one and half hours.
ISRO engineers began planning for the orbit-tweaking operation soon after its orbit dynamics specialists predicted a long eclipse.
The goal was to change the inclination of the orbit to avoid the shadow zone, ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar said. Orbital maneuvering had exhausted two third of total fuel of the spacecraft. Mission had 30 kg fuel stock.
Mars Orbiter Mission is India’s first interplanetary mission which was successfully inserted into elliptical orbit around Mars on September 24, 2014.
It was designed for six months probe but it is working quite well even after two-and-a-half years and is likely to continue for another three years.
The main purpose of Mangalyaan, as a technology demonstration mission, is to demonstrate India’s capability to insert MOM in Martian orbit and operating Mars Orbiter spacecraft for 6 months.
ISRO has planned another mission to Mars in 2018.