ISRO Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) by Oct – Nov 2013

Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter Mission), is ISRO’s prestegious interplanetary mission to planet Mars with a spacecraft designed to orbit Mars in an elliptical orbit of 372 km by 80,000 km. Mars Orbiter mission is India’s next challenging technological mission out of the Earth’s gravitational field. The major demands will be critical mission operations and stringent requirements on propulsion, communications and other bus systems of the spacecraft.

The primary driving technological objective of the mission is to design and realize a spacecraft with a capability to reach Mars (Martian transfer Trajectory), then to orbit around Mars (Mars Orbit Insertion) which will take about nine months time. Yet another technological challenge is to realize related deep space mission planning and communication management at a distance of nearly 400 million km.

The polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV will be used to inject the spacecraft from SDSC, SHAR in the 250 X 23000 km orbit with an inclination of 17.864 degree. As the minimum energy transfer opportunity from Earth to Mars occurs once in 26 months, the opportunity in 2013 demands a cumulative incremental velocity of 2.592 km/sec.

An official said, “If launched within the launch window (October 21-November 19, 2013), the spacecraft will travel for least distance to reach Mars”.

This satellite will also carry compact science experiments, totaling a mass of 15 kg, as listed below. The Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP) will look after the escape processes of Mars upper atmosphere through Deuterium/Hydrogen. The Methane Sensor for MARS (MSM) is designed to detect presence of Methane in Mars. The Martian Exospheric Composition Explorer (MENCA) will study the neutral composition of the Martian upper atmosphere and the MARS Colour Camera (MCC) will do the optical imaging of Martian surface. The TIR imaging spectrometer (TIS) is designed to map surface composition and mineralogy of Mars.

ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan said, “The primary objective of this challenging mission is to establish the Indian technological capabilities to reach the orbit of Mars, a number of technological challenges need to be negotiated for a successful Mars mission”.

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