The third orbit raising maneuver for India’s Mars Orbiter went smoothly Saturday morning, the country’s space agency ISRO said. According to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the orbit raising activity began at 2.10AM, Saturday.
The on-board motor was fired for 707 seconds. This took the Mars Orbiter to an apogee (farthest point from Earth) of 71,636 km from 40,186 km. Out of the total six orbit raising maneuvers, ISRO has completed three. The first one took place Thursday and the second Friday. ISRO launched the Mars Orbiter in earth’s orbit Tuesday. The spacecraft was placed at an elliptical earth orbit with a perigee of 248.4 km and an apogee of 23,550 km, inclined at an angle of 19.27 degrees to the equator. Also Read - NASA's InSight robotic lander beams first 'selfie' from Mars back to Earth
The 1,340-kg Mars Orbiter, developed by ISRO at an outlay of around Rs 150 crore, carries 852 kg of fuel onboard. Around 360 kg fuel was likely to be expended on the six orbit raising maneuvers. During the final orbit raising activity, the Orbiter will be put on Mars Transfer Trajectory Dec 1. Also Read - ISRO Mars Orbiter Mission completes 4 years in its orbit
According to ISRO, the Mars Orbiter will travel to the vicinity of the Red Planet in September 2014 after 300 days of deep space voyage. When the Orbiter is near Mars, the spacecraft’s motors will be fired again but in reverse direction to slow it down and let it be captured by Martian gravity into an orbit around it, ISRO said. According to the space agency, all systems of the Orbiter are functioning normally. India’s first inter-planetary Mars Orbiter mission will cost around Rs 450 crore.