India's Mars Orbiter goes up further

Chennai, Nov 16 : India's Mars Orbiter further went up to an over 190,000 km apogee (farthest point from earth) Saturday morning, the space agency said.

"The fifth orbit raising manoeuvre of Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, starting at 01:27 hrs (IST) Nov 16, with a burn time of 243.5 seconds has been successfully completed. The observed change in apogee is from 118,642 km to 192,874 km," the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement.

The incremental velocity was 101.55 metres per second.

After its Nov 5 launch, the Mars Orbiter was placed in 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.

The 1,340-kg Mars Orbiter, developed by the ISRO at an outlay of around Rs.150 crore, carries 852 kg of fuel. Around 360 kg was likely to be expended during the six orbit raising activities.

During the final orbit raising activity Nov 30 and Dec 1, the Orbiter will be put on the Mars Transfer Trajectory.

According to ISRO, the Mars Orbiter will arrive in the vicinity of the Red Planet in Sep 2014 after 300 days of deep space voyage.

When the Orbiter nears Mars, the spacecraft's motors will be fired again, but in the reverse direction to slow it down and let it get captured by the Martian gravity into an orbit around it.

--IANS (Posted on 16-11-2013)

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