Chennai: India’s Rs.450 crore Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) seemed to have suffered a hiccup Monday morning when its orbit was being raised for the fourth time, going by the postings on the mission’s official Facebook page.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in a posting on its Facebook page had said: “During this firing an incremental velocity of 35 m/s (metres per second) has been imparted to the spacecraft. We will come back to you after Orbit determination.”
However, ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan told IANS over phone, “There is no hiccup. The apogee (farthest point from earth) achieved is 78,276 km.”
As per plans, the Mars Orbiter was to be taken to an apogee of about 100,000 km from 71,636 km.
Commenting on ISRO’s posting on the social networking site’s page, a senior official not wanting to be named told IANS: “If that is the number then there seems to be an issue.”
Another senior official on condition of anonymity said: “In the next two orbit raising activities (Nov 15 and Nov 30) the deviations would be corrected.”
“There will be an official version soon,” he added.
He said Nov 15 and Nov 30 activities were important and all the issues would be sorted out before that.
Usually ISRO updates the result of the orbit raising activity on its website but Monday there was no update leading to speculation.