History was made today as India’s Mars Orbiter Mission successfully inducted itself into the Marstian Orbit, in a yet again coy-book style. The insertion was as clean as any other process has been, throughout this mission.
India scripted history today, by becoming the first Nation to achieve such a feat in first attempt. Most of the other countries, who attempted this feat, were unsuccessful in at least first two attempts.
Not only this, India also became the first Asian nation to achieve an interplanetary success, thus giving India a rare lead in an ongoing space race with China. China called this mission,”Asia’s pride” and hailed ISRO for its clinical insertion process.
The MOI was done was done by firing its 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) along with eight smaller liquid engines. This Liquid Engines firing operation which began at 07:17:32 Hrs IST lasted for 1388.67 seconds which changed the velocity of the spacecraft by 1099 metre/sec.
With this operation, the spacecraft entered into an elliptical orbit around Mars. Honourable Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi, was present at ISRO’s Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore to witness this important event.
The events related to Mars Orbit Insertion progressed satisfactorily and the spacecraft performance was normal. The Spacecraft is now circling Mars in an orbit whose nearest point to Mars (periapsis) is at 421.7 km and farthest point (apoapsis) at 76,993.6 km. The inclination of orbit with respect to the equatorial plane of Mars is 150 degree, as intended. In this orbit, the spacecraft takes 72 hours 51 minutes 51 seconds to go round the Mars once.
Mars Orbiter Spacecraft was launched on-board India’s workhorse launch vehicle PSLV on November 05, 2013 into a parking orbit around the Earth. On December 01, 2013, following Trans Mars Injection (TMI) manoeuvre, the spacecraft escaped from orbiting the earth and followed a path that would allow it to encounter Mars on September 24, 2014.