To avoid the long-duration eclipse, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully realigned the orbit of its Mars Orbiter Mission ‘Mangalyaan’.
ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar told reporters, “The duration of the eclipse was so long that had we done nothing, the Mangalyaan’s battery capacity would have got exhausted due to lack of sun rays. No effect of the eclipse was felt on Mangalyaan yesterday.”
“On the evening of January 17, we manoeuvred to change the orbit of Mangalyaan and reduced the duration of eclipse. The experiment was successful. The spacecraft still has 30 kg fuel left, and with realignment we expect it to work for a very long time to come,” Mr Kumar further added.
Kumar said that the correction in the trajectory of Mangalyaan was needed to keep the supply of power strong during the eclipse – caused by due to the Mars’ shadow on it for 7-8 hours – so that it could continue to function for long time, as Mangalyaan’s battery fails to support long-duration eclipse.