India launched its first mission to Mars earlier this month in an attempt to become the fourth nation on the planet to reach Mars. Shortly after launch, India’s Mars spacecraft encountered engine problems that prevented mission controllers from placing the spacecraft into the desired orbit. The engine problem had to do with the primary and secondary coils inside the engine that were unable to fire at the same time.
The engine problem left the spacecraft without the trust needed to achieve the desired orbit. Mission controllers in India have now announced that the engine problems on their spacecraft have been solved. Mission controllers at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) have been able to get the spacecraft into the desired orbit.
The engine problem surfaced earlier this week when controllers tried to get the spacecraft to orbit at a maximum distance of 100,000 km from its previous orbit distance of 71,623 km. Mission controllers used an additional thruster firing to push the spacecraft into its desired orbit.
ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan said:
All is well and operations completed as planned. The final orbit of the spacecraft will be known in a few hours.
India plans for its Mars probe to orbit the earth until the end of November to build up the velocity required to break free of the Earth’s gravitational pull. The ISRO expects it to take about 300 days for the spacecraft to reach Mars and the spacecraft’s mission is to survey the planets geology and atmosphere.