On 6th March, Maven-NASA’S Mars-orbiting spacecraft -and Phobos was just about to collide but thankfully, NASA prevent it. It could be dangerous for an orbiter that costs $671 million.
It is a commendable on the part of the team who have been monitoring all the celestial bodies closely that cross the spacecraft’s path. They predicted the mishap in advance and were able to avoid the incident.
According to NASA’S official statement,
On Feb. 28, it performed a rocket motor burn to speed up just a little bit and change trajectories to avoid crossing paths with Phobos. They increased the speed of the orbiter by 0.4 meter to maintain the safe distance of 2.5 minutes. Before, their orbits were crossing the same point within just 7 seconds of each other.
Maven spacecraft, short for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, has been orbiting mars for two years. It orbits the red planet to study its atmosphere and how it interacts with the solar wind. Phobos is a lumpy, asteroid-size moon orbiting very close to Mars, streaked with stretch-mark grooves. Phobos and its slightly smaller sister moon Deimos are both dark gray, which makes them among the least reflective objects in the solar system. Phobos has been moving closer to Mars over time and is destined for an eventual descent into the planet — one collision that moon won’t avoid.