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India’s Mars Mission: What’s Going to Happen Today?

India’s Mars Mission: What’s Going to Happen Today?
The Indian Space and Research Organisation is on the cusp of a historic breakthrough. In a few hours from now, Isro will start crucial operations to insert the Mars Orbiter Mission into orbit. It has already successfully fire the liquid engine that had been idle for the past 300-odd days.
On Monday, Isro said in a statement that the 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) of India’s Mars Orbiter Spacecraft was successfully fired for 3.968 seconds. The operation was also used for the spacecraft’s trajectory correction and changed its velocity by  2.18 metre/second.
Once inserted in the orbit around Mars, Mangalyaan will complete one rotation around Mars in 3.2 Earth days and will be active for about six to ten months. The duration will vary depending upon various factors including the quantity of fuel stock.

Here’s the final schedule of operations planned for today which, if successful, will make India the first nation ever to launch a satellite into Martian orbit on its maiden attempt.

04.17 a.m: Critical operations to insert MOM into Mars Orbit will start. The three antennas of the spacecraft for transmission between the Earth and the Mars will be activated at that time.
06.56 a.m.: The spacecraft will be rotated towards Mars. Because of the Mars-Sun-Earth geometry, the MOM’s insertion into Mars orbit is destined to happen while MOM is in the eclipse (MOM will be behind Mars and there will be sunlight on the spacecraft as it would be blocked by the planet).
07:17 a.m.: The liquid engine will be fired and the insertion will happen when the spacecraft is on the other side of Mars, away from Earth’s sight, Unfortunately, this will result in a communication blackout since the signals cannot be transmitted from the spacecraft to the Ground station.
)7:12 a.m.: The total burn duration is expected to be 24.14 minutes, consuming 249.5 kg of liquid propellant.
07:47 a.m.: Earth will receive the first information about total burn performance.
07.54 a.m: Isro will confirm the insertion of the spacecraft into Martian orbit.
08.15 a.m.: Scientists at Isro expect that they will be able to confirm the success of the mission. Later in the day, Mangalyaan’s camera will be activated and the first picture from the spacecraft is expected to reach the space agency later on the day.

The  big-ticket events through September 24: here they are!!

*** *** 7.12 am. The liquid engine burn will start. This will be the most challenging considering engine was idle for nearly 10 months
07.37 am the eclipse will end, while the Mars Occult will continue
*** 7.41 am the Liquid engine Burn ends.
*** 7.42 am to 8.04 am, the reverse Manoeuver will take place, to reorient the Antenna towards
6.56 am the spacecraft would be rotated towards Mars.* Because of the Mars-Sun-Earth geometry, the MOM’s insertion into Mars orbit is destined to happen while MOM is in the eclipse (MOM will be behind Mars and the Sunlight would not be falling on the spacecraft as it would be blocked by the planet).MOM will enter eclipse at — 7.12 am. The liquid engine burn will start. This will be the most challenging considering engine was idle for nearly 10 months

07.45 a.m. the Mars Occult will end and two minutes later, the telemetry would resume and the scientiss would come to know the first information about total burn performance.
*** 8.15 am ISRO would be able to confirm that the operation has been successful.
 
Another gem of a piece by A Kriisnhan

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