Ahmedabad: Indian Space Research Organisation has successfully realigned the orbit of its Mars Orbiter Mission ‘Mangalyaan’ so it is not affected by the long-duration eclipse, Isro chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said on Thursday.
“The duration of the eclipse was so long that had we done nothing, the Mangalyaan’s battery capacity would have got exhausted due to lack of sun rays. No effect of the eclipse was felt on Mangalyaan on Wednesday.
“On the evening of January 17, we manoeuvred to change the orbit of Mangalyaan and reduced the duration of eclipse,” Kumar told reporters here on sidelines of Gujarat Technological Univer-sity’s convocation.
“The experiment was successful. The spacecraft still has 30 kg fuel left, and with realignment we expect it to work for a very long time to come,” he said. The correction in the trajectory of Mangalyaan was required to keep the power supply strong during the eclipse — caused by shadow of Mars falling on it for 7-8 hours — so that it could continue to function longer, as Mangalyaan’s battery cannot support long-duration eclipse.
Kumar also said work on ISRO’s ambitious South Asia satellite project has begun. The satellite is expected to be launched by March this year, he said.
“Work on assembly of rocket has begun and we expect to launch it by March. The satellite will be carried on GSLV Mark II. It will have provisions for telecommunication and disaster monitoring, among others,” he said.
He also said that work on ‘Chandrayaan II’ has begun and the satellite is expected to be launched in the first half of 2018.
“Test works on Chand-rayaan II are on. We are testing soft landing engines by simulating lun-ar surface,” he said.