India’s Mars Orbiter Mangalyaan is expected to send clearer pictures in two months’ time, said a senior official of the Indian space agency Friday, as currently the pixtures are hazy and obliterated.
A.S. Kiran Kumar, director, Space Application Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told IANS over phone from Ahmedabad: “The Mars Orbiter is fine. There are no issues. Each time the spacecraft completes one orbit, the data is being studied. The data from the scientific instruments on the Orbiter is being collected and studied. It will take some time to come out with the conclusion.”
He said the sun’s position is moving, hence the Orbiter is expected to send clearer pictures of the planet’s surface in two months’ time.
It is only next year that the Orbiter is expected to face some challenges, he said.
Kumar said: “The sun’s position will then be closer to Mars. As a result, the Orbiter’s antenna may not be working and there will be a blackout situation for 10-12 days around May next year.”
India launched its Mars Orbiter Nov 5, 2013 and it inserted the spacecraft into the red planet’s orbit Sep 24.
Later, ISRO repositioned the Mars Orbiter as a precautionary measure against the Comet Siding Spring that flew by the red planet Oct 20.
According to Kumar, around 1.9 kg of the fuel was spent on repositioning the spacecraft.
He said: “The fuel position of Mars Orbiter is comfortable. It has more than 40 kg fuel on board.”