India’s Mars Orbiter is expected to send clearer pictures in two months’ time, said a senior official of the Indian space agency Friday. Also Read - Former NASA astronaut will help public send personalized messages to space: Here is how
A.S. Kiran Kumar, director, Space Application Centre of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) told IANS over phone from Ahmadabad, “The Mars Orbiter is fine. There are no issues. Each time the spacecraft completes one orbit, the data is being studied. The data from the scientific instruments on the Orbiter is being collected and studied. It will take some time to come out with the conclusion.” Also Read - Elon Musk scouting for potential Mars landing sites
He said the sun’s position is moving, hence the Orbiter is expected to send clearer pictures of the planet’s surface in two months’ time. It is only next year that the Orbiter is expected to face some challenges, he said. Also Read - How to send your name to the Red Planet onboard NASA's Mars 2020 rover
Kumar said, “The sun’s position will then be closer to Mars. As a result, the Orbiter’s antenna may not be working and there will be a blackout situation for 10-12 days around May next year.”
India launched its Mars Orbiter November 5, 2013 and it inserted the spacecraft into the red planet’s orbit Sep 24. Later, ISRO repositioned the Mars Orbiter as a precautionary measure against the Comet Siding Spring that flew by the red planet October 20.
According to Kumar, around 1.9kg of the fuel was spent on repositioning the spacecraft. He said, “The fuel position of Mars Orbiter is comfortable. It has more than 40kg fuel on board.”