Mangalyaan Ready for Final Lap Nine Months after Launch
Today the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that India's Mars Orbiter Mission, known as Mangalyaan is now at a distance of just nine million kilometres from the red planet.
On Saturday ISRO said on its Facebook page, "Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is just nine million km away from Mars and 189 million kilometres away from the Earth. 33 more days to MARS."
The spacecraft is scheduled to enter the orbit of Mars at 7.30 am on September 24.
MOM was launched on 5th November 2013 by ISRO.
Dr K Radhakrishnan the chairman of ISRO told the media, "This is a very critical phase of the Mission. Our mission controllers are going through ground simulations and rehearsals to respond to contingencies."
On September 14 a decision is awaited whether there would be a requirement of another correction in the space craft's course.
The next big challenge that comes the way of the agency is to reduce the speed of the spacecraft through the process of firing the LAM engine and bring it to 1.6 km/sec. For the last three hundred days the engine has been idle and restarting it can be a great challenge for ISRO.
An official spokes person of the agency said. "The firing has to be done very precisely. When we reduce the spacecraft's velocity, it should be close enough to Mars for it to be captured by the planet's gravity."