Mars Orbiter Mission update: first apogee-raising burn completed
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla
06-11-2013 14:11 CST
When the Mars Orbiter Mission launched yesterday, it launched into Earth orbit. Exactly as LADEE recently did, the Mars Orbiter Mission must perform several rocket burns when it is closest to Earth in order to raise the altitude of its apogee (the farthest point of its orbit from Earth). Six of these maneuvers will pump the Mars Orbiter Mission's apogee up high enough that it can perform one more burn while up there to escape Earth's gravity and end up in a heliocentric orbit that will take it to Mars.
The first burn was completed successfully just minutes ago, about 34 hours after launch. Since each new orbit is a little longer than the last, the next burn will not happen 34 hours from now -- it will happen some time later than that. I don't know when each burn is planned for; whenever I know, I'll tell you!