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Thursday, April 10, 2014

India's Mars mission crosses half the distance

India's Mars mission crosses half the distance

CRUISING towards a historic feat. the Indian space mission to Mars on Wednesday crossed half the total distance to the red planet from Earth and was very much along the designated heliocentric trajectory.
At exactly 09.50 am (1ST), the Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft crossed the midpoint of its path to Mars, thereby has traveled 337.5 million km in its elliptical orbit around the sun. ISRO sources said.
It look four minutes and 15 seconds for a message lo reach the spacecraft and return, they said. Incidentally, the spacecraft is crossing half the total distance on its way to Mars, a day after Earth was at its closest to the red planet, in their respective orbits. The mission was very much in track and it was evident with the fact that the second Trajectory Correction Manouvre (TCM) planned on the spacecraft has now been considered not necessary and is expected to be performed only in June, scientists said. ISRO has been continuously monitoring the spacecraft using its Deep Space Network complemented by that of Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the NASA and the five scientific instruments onboard the craft were "ingood health." Periodic tests were also being done on the different levels of autonomy built into the spacecraft for managing contingencies.

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