The Transition timeline begins with 2 days of margin, a placeholder in case contingency manoeuvre TCM-7 is needed. If TCM-7 occurs, it is part of MOI phase and Transition phase is shortened by 2 days. A DDOR baseline is scheduled 2 days after MOI to better define the capture orbit. If TCM-7 is not needed, the timeline can shift earlier by 2 days, increasing the overall schedule margin. Once MOI (and TCM-7 if needed) is complete, the spacecraft goes through a post-MOI checkout, which includes configuring instruments to a nominal science state.
During the first 5 days of Transition Phase, the operation team enacts an accelerated version of their planning cycle. During this time, the first image of Mars is taken and transmitted to the MOC. Daily contacts are scheduled, enabling a quick turn-around of command sequence uploads and telemetry receipt.
After the post-MOI spacecraft checkout is complete and the operations team is prepared, the observatory demonstrates the first MarsPoint ADCS state while in orbit around Mars, including EXI images to validate pointing. Once all observatory functionality has been checked out, the instruments have several calibration activities planned in advance of TSM-1 to take advantage of the low periapsis of the capture orbit. A mission rule (MR-12) avoids scheduling of contacts near periapsis to maximize opportunities for low-altitude instrument calibrations. While the targeted capture orbit is 40 hours, capture orbits ranging from 31 to 100 hours are possible. If TCM-7 occurs, a capture orbit greater than 100 hours may be possible, which is addressed as a contingency scenario.
During the first week of Transition Phase, the Activity schedule will be updated based on the orbit we have arrived in, including eclipse impacts, sun avoidance concerns, and planning of the Capture Orbit activities. The Transition to Science (TSM) manoeuvre plan will also be updated based on the capture orbit.