Long Eclipse Avoidance Manoeuvres Performed Successfully on MOM Spacecraft
An orbital manoeuvres was performed on Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft to avoid the impending long eclipse duration for the satellite. The duration of the eclipse would have been as long as 8 hours in the coming days. As the satellite battery is designed to handle an eclipse duration of only about 1 Hour 40 minutes, a longer eclipse would have drained the battery beyond the safe limit. The manoeuvres performed on January 17, 2017 brought down the eclipse duration to zero during this long eclipse period.
On the Evening of January 17, all the eight numbers of 22N thrusters were fired for a duration of 431 seconds, achieving a velocity difference of 97.5 m/s. This has resulted in a new orbit for the MOM spacecraft, which completely avoids eclipse up to September 2017. About 20 kg propellant was consumed for this manoeuvres leaving another 13 kg of propellant for its further mission life.
The spacecraft health is normal. The next long eclipse period for MOM is expected in the year 2020.
Eclipse Avoidance Manoeuvres on MOM Spacecraft