ISRO conducts successful test run of Mars Orbiter Mission

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) performed a glitch free rehearsal of India’s first mission to the Red Planet designated the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) at Sriharikota centre. The MOM is scheduled for launch at 2.38pm on November 5, 2013.

As per ISRO, the dry run simulated the entire command sequence of the countdown. It demonstrated the mission readiness. Except for fuel filling all the activities 8-10 hours prior to the lift-off of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-XL were simulated without a snag. The trial’s most significant aspect was the retraction of the mobile service tower and bringing it back which was performed impeccably.

If everything goes well, the final 56.5-half countdown will start at 6am on November 3, 2013. To involve the public, a countdown clock has been included on the MOM’s Facebook page.

US space agency NASA also plans to launch Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission which is slated for launch on November 18, 2013 and both MOM and MAVEN are expected to arrive at the Red Planet at the same time in September 2014.

About India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) ‘Mangalyan’:
  • The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has been named ‘Mangalyan
  • To be launched onboard PSLV C25 on November 5, 2013 at 14:36 hours from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.
  • India’s first interplanetary mission to planet Mars with an orbiter craft designed to orbit Mars in an elliptical orbit.
  • It will reach Martian transfer trajectory in September 2014. Subsequently, it is planned to enter into a 372 km by 80000 km elliptical orbit around Mars.
Objectives of India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) ‘Mangalyan’:
  • The main objectives of the Mars mission are to showcase India’s technological prowess to send a satellite to orbit around Mars and conduct important experiments such as looking for signs of life, take pictures of the red planet and study Martian environment.
  • To develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission.
  • Design and realisation of a Mars orbiter with a capability to survive and perform Earth bound manoeuvres, cruise phase of 300 days, Mars orbit insertion or capture.
  • Deep space communication, navigation, mission planning and management.
  • Incorporate autonomous features to handle contingency situations.
  • Exploration of Mars surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian atmosphere by indigenous scientific instruments.
Key Payloads on PSLV C25:
  • Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP)
  • Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM)
  • Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA)
  • Mars Colour Camera (MCC)
  • Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometre (TIS)

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