India’s first interplanetary expedition – Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) or Mangalyaan – has completed over 800 orbiting circles of the “Red Planet”.
The orbiter that has already completed the scheduled six months, encircling Mars, can last several “years” in the Martian orbit with the 39 kilograms of fuel that it still has in it’s fuel tanks, said AS Kiran Kumar, chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Mangalyaan had entered the Martian orbit on September 24, 2014 after NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) orbiter that began encircling Mars on September 5, 2014. MAVEN has completed over 1000 orbits of Mars in about 200 days. Both ISRO’s and NASA’s mission are aimed at studying the Martian atmosphere.
“Their (MAVEN’s) orbital period is shorter. We take about 2.5-3 days to complete an orbit…. Ours is a highly elliptical orbit and so we will take more time…..Their orbit is probably one-third of ours. In the six months (about 180 days), we have completed about 800 orbits of Mars,” said Kiran Kumar while talking to mediapersons about the mission on the sidelines of Gujarat Innovation Society Award Function in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.
“Originally when we planned the mission, the life of MoM was estimated to be about six months after the insertion (into the Martian orbit). So on March 24, we completed our originally planned mission. But all subsystem are still working fine and we have a fuel of 39 kilograms still remaining. So it can last for a long time,” the said of ISRO said emphasising that the MoM could survive for “years” in the Martian orbit.
The Ceramic Servo Accelerometer, weighing about 50 grams, have one of the most important fuel-saving devices on-board the Mangalyaan which is carrying five important payloads including a Mars Colour Camera, Methane Sensor for Mars, Lyman Alpha Photometer, Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser and Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer. Last year, Joji Chaman, Group Head, Mechanical Design and Production, ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU), Thiruvanathapuram had received the prestigious Shri Hari Om Ashram Prerit Dr Vikram Sarabhai Research Award 2013 for developing the device along with his team.
“But we have one major event which we have to look at. Sometime in June, this year we have for two weeks a communication blackout, because the Sun, Earth and Mars will be in the same line, as a result of which no communication will be possible for 14 days. So during that time, the autonomous systems built in the satellite is supposed to take care of all operations. But anyway, we have to wait and watch,” Kiran Kumar said.
Quelle: The Indian Express
Chandrayaan-2 launch slated to take place in 2017-18: ISRO Chief
India's second lunar exploration mission - Chandrayaan - 2 is targeted to be launched by 2017-18 with complete indigenisation, informed Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) chairman A S Kiran Kumar here on Wednesday.
"With changes in the planned configuration for Chandrayaan-2, where originally the lander was supposed to come from Russia. Now we are developing our own lander. So it will be completely indigenous system," Kumar told media persons ahead of an awards function by Gujarat Innovation Society.
"For the launch of Chandrayaan-2 the target is sometime in 2017-18," said Kumar adding that meanwhile India will see about seven space launches.
Of the seven launches, Kumar noted that one has already been done last month in March. "Apart from that we are now getting ready for DMC- Disaster Monitoring Constellation satellite for Surrey Space Technology, followed by GSLV Mk-2 which is going to be launched," he said.
ISRO has also lined launch of IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigate Satellite System) 1E and 1F. "On March, 28 we launched the fourth IRNSS. In fact today we completed all the in-orbit tests that the satellite has actually gone into the right place. All the payloads have been turned on and they have been tested."
"Once you have the four navigation satellites, you can independently determine your physical position on ground. Latitude, longitude and height using a receiver signal," he added.
Another in the line is the Astrosat to be launched in 2015 with a multi-wavelength telescope system which will be carried on a single platform. This will be unique observation systems to look at celestial objects thereby encouraging students to take unique observations from sky. With the new satellite, students can decide what celestial object they want to look at. Astrosat will carry multi-frequency telescope systems on a platform.
GSAT-15 will be launched this year. "The remaining six are from our own PSLV and GSLV Mk-2."
"Also we will have Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstration Program or RLV-TD's first version or first trial of hypersonic experiment during this year," said Kumar.
He stressed the ISRO was focusing more on the critical technologies and will continue to capitalise on the technology spin-offs. Presently, ISRO is working on composite material, artificial limbs, mentioned the chairman.
Quelle: Business Line