MARS ORBIT INSERTION PHASE PLAN
The Mars Orbit Insertion Phase corresponds with the MOI Moratorium during which changes to the Ground and Space Segments are kept to a minimum while the team focuses on safely entering a capture orbit at Mars. The Moratorium and all events occurring within this phase are driven by the fact that MOI is a critical event that must occur at a given time for the mission to be successful. The phase targets the capture orbit from the interplanetary cruise, lasting approximately 30 days, with the burn itself lasting approximately 28 minutes. TCM-5 and TCM-6 are performed or waived off depending on NAV predictions of entering the B-Plane Corridor. Mars Orbit Insertion burn parameters are determined during the Cruise Phase, reviewed, and locked down in the flight operations system three months before the MOI execution. The MOI sequence, as well as a number of pre-planned contingency burns that will be used if the spacecraft isn’t in a safe capture orbit after the completion of the MOI burn, will be loaded to the spacecraft eight days prior to the MOI burn. If TCM-6 is performed, the team collects tracking data and spacecraft telemetry necessary to determine when and where the spacecraft will intercept the B-Plane.
The final parameter for the MOI sequence (absolute time of the burn start) is then confirmed and uploaded four days before the execution of the MOI burn. As MOI is an EMM critical event, near-continuous ground station coverage is scheduled as the MOI burn approaches, with frequent DDOR measurements in the month prior to the burn. The phase itself is broken into two sub-phases: The Approach Sub-Phase and the Insertion Sub-Phase. This is done for the purposes of communicating with the DSN and the other 2020 Mars missions as to the criticality of establishing communications in these periods. The start of the Approach Sub-Phase corresponds with the start of the MOI Phase. The start of Insertion Sub-Phase starts one week prior to MOI and lasts until the end of the MOI Phase.