The process of starting up the engine of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft for a four-second test to be conducted on September 21 has begun by the scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation.
ISRO declared that the commands for inserting the Mars spacecraft into the Red Planet’s orbit have been uploaded and the loading process will take about 13 hours to be completed.
On September 24, the ultimate test of 24 minutes of firing to slow down the MOM and inject it into the Martial orbit will be done and an official said that it will be known on this day whether the mission was successful.
Chairman K Radhakjrishnan of ISRO said that he is confident about the mission that it will be successful. However, he said that restarting the engine which was in an idle state for about 300 days is a real challenge. Hurtling at a speed of 82,000kmph, MOM has kept idle since November 30, 2013, after performing Trans-Martian Insertion.
Radhakrishnan said, "We also have a Plan-B, which is using the small eight 22 N thrusters for attitude control or orientation, which will not give you this original target. It will be salvaging of the mission.”
One of the biggest technological challenges for advanced space powers is reaching the orbit. If India succeeds in this on September 24, India will be the first country to achieve it on a debut and also and also the first Asian country to attain technological capability.
ISRO said, “MOM keeps sending us vital information about the health of its various modules and measurements from sensors. This is called Telemetry signal. Today’s telemetry confirms that MOM is in the pink of health.” MOM uses 2.2m High Gain Antenna to send signals from the present distance of 211 million kilometre.
Project Director of MOM, S Arunan said, “The test-firing would take the spacecraft, moving at a speed of about 22km per second, away from the trajectory by more than 100km, but this would be factored in to the final Martian orbital injection on September 24.” MOM would be reaching the Martian orbit two days after the US orbiter MAVEN. The project is expected to provide the scientific community better opportunities in planetary research.[category-Nation] [tags- Mars Orbite Mission, ISRO, Chairman K Radhakrishnan, September 24, Martial orbit]