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Crucial day for Mars Mission

Crucial day for Mars Mission
Highlights

Ahead of India’s Mars orbiter’s scheduled rendezvous with the red planet on September 24, ISRO is all set for the crucial fourth trajectory correction manoeuvre and test fire of the main liquid engine on the spacecraft on Monday.

  • Mars Orbitory Mission (MOM) enters Mars sphere of influence today
  • ISRO to carry out fourth trajectory correction, test-fire of main engine
  • On Sept 24, MOM will be slowed down to enter the red planet’s orbit

Bangalore: Ahead of India’s Mars orbiter’s scheduled rendezvous with the red planet on September 24, ISRO is all set for the crucial fourth trajectory correction manoeuvre and test fire of the main liquid engine on the spacecraft on Monday.

The Mars Orbiter Mission – informally called Mangalyaan – is India’s first interplanetary mission and was launched on November 5, 2013 by India’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from the spaceport of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, will enter into Sphere of Influence of Mars on Monday. The 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) engine now in an idle mode on MOM for 300 days will be fired for about four seconds which, if successful, will boost the confidence level of ISRO about the success of insertion of the spacecraft into the Martian orbit. The LAM engine will be test-fired for 3.968 seconds with fuel consumption of about 0.567 kg and with a decremental velocity of 2.142 meters/second.

In case of any problem in Monday’s manoeuvre, ISRO is ready with Plan B where in eight thrusters alone will be firing for a longer duration, probably consuming more fuel, and try to get in orbit around Mars.

In a critical act in the final moments on September 24, the orbiter has to be slowed down from 22.1 km per second to 4.4 km per second in relation to the red planet to be captured by the Martian orbit for the mission to be declared a success. The manoeuvring of the spacecraft will begin around 7.30 am. The spacecraft's speed will be reduced from the current velocity so that the Orbiter enters the Mars orbit.

If the final moments on September 24 are a success, India would be the first Asian country to go to Mars and also the first to succeed in the maiden attempt. Meanwhile, the US space agency's (Nasa) latest Mars satellite Maven is set to arrive in orbit above the planet on Monday (GMT).

Cheer India campaign

ISRO on its Facebook page has announced prizes for interesting comments and videos that show their love for MOM -- Mars Orbiter Mission. The contest, open till September 23, is only for Indian nationals and the number of likes a comment gets is a major criterion for winning the prize.

Selfie with Mangalyaan

Hyderabad-based start-up Smartur has developed a mobile application built on augmented reality that allows users of Android phone users and iOS mobile devices to click a selfie with Indian spaceship Mangalyaan. The app is an augmented reality app that has been developed using a 3D model and provides the user with an almost 'real' experience of seeing the object (Mangalyaan) in its living environment.

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