Mars orbiter crossed comet hurdle: ISRO

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Mars orbiter crossed comet hurdle: ISRO
Bangalore, Oct 29: After the Mars orbiter spacecraft's successful encounter with comet Siding Spring last week, a major hurdle was over and the satellite is now in a normal phase of the mission to proceed with other experiments, ISRO said today.

"One thing that was quite satisfying was the satellite survived this comet, there was absolutely no problem...; it happened between October 19 and 20th, it has been about ten days since then, things are going on very correctly as planned," ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) Director S K Shivakumar told reporters here.

Speaking at the pre-event press meet of Engineers' Conclave, he said, "We are very satisfied with the way in which we have manoeuvred the satellite and how it behaved pre and post manoeuvre, and how it survived from the comet. With that, one major hurdle is really finished now we are more concentrating on the experiments we are trying to do."

"Things are going as per schedule, things are very clear for us and we are conducting the experiments as planned. With that we feel it is at normal face of the mission, and we can certainly hand over the satellite to our ISTRAC friends for next six months minimum, beyond that it will be really bonus to all of us," he said.

The comet, known as Siding Spring (C/2013 A1), made its closest encounter with Mars on October 19th midnight for which ISRO had repositioned its Mars Orbiter satellite to avoid collision. 

PTI

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