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First MOM trajectory correction manoeuvre planned for 11 Dec

As India’s maiden mission to Mars continues its fuel-less cruise to the Red Planet, ISRO would this week carry out further manoeuvres aimed at keeping the spacecraft in the intended trajectory.

The first of the four Trajectory Correction Manoeuvres (TCM) would be carried out on 11 December, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which launched the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) on 5 November, said on Monday. Though the spacecraft is moving towards the Red Planet in the intended trajectory, four TCMs are planned to fine tune it so as to keep it in the precise intended track.

‘We have already imparted the velocity required by MOM to reach Mars during the Trans-Mars Injection (on 1 December) and now MOM is cruising with a velocity of about 32.8 km/s. The first TCM is scheduled on 11 December,’ ISRO sources said. The propulsion system of MOM, which is to travel a total distance of about 680 million km, will be using monomethyl hydrazine as fuel and dinitrogen tetroxide as oxidizer during all the four TCMs, they said.

Interacting with space enthusiasts in its official page on social networking site Facebook, ISRO said MOM was not taking the shortest route to the Red Planet, since accelerating and later decelerating to match the planet's speed would require an extremely large amount of fuel in that option.
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