After 8 Years of Hard Work, India’s ‘Mangalyaan’ Is Running Out of Fuel: Report

After 8 Years Of Hard Work, India
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After 8 Years of Hard Work, India's 'Mangalyaan' Is Running Out of Fuel: Report

The Rs 450 crore Mars Orbiter Mission was launched on PSLV-C25 in 2013.(File)


India’s Mars Orbiter ship has run out of propulsion and its battery has gone beyond the safe limit, fueling speculation that the country’s first interplanetary mission, ‘Mangalyaan’, may have finally completed its long strokes.

The Rs 450 crore Mars Orbiter Mission was launched on PSLV-C25 on November five, 2013, and the MOM spacecraft was successfully placed into Mars orbit on September 24, 2014 in its first attempt.

“Right now there’s no fuel. The satellite battery is flat,” sources at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) told PTI. “Connection lost”.

However, there has been no official statement from the country’s national space agency, which is headquartered here.

With fuel on board, ISRO has been performing orbital maneuvers in the past to get the MOM spacecraft into a new orbit to avoid an impending eclipse.

“But there have been back-to-back eclipses, including one that lasted for seven and a half hours recently,” officials said, noting that all the propellant on the aging satellite had been consumed, provided its name was not disclosed.

“Since the satellite battery is designed to only handle an eclipse time of approximately one hour and 40 minutes, a longer eclipse will push the battery beyond the safe limit,” said another official.

ISRO officials noted that the Mars orbiter had operated for almost eight years, well beyond its designed six-month mission life.

“It did its job and delivered important scientific results,” they said. The mission’s objectives were primarily technological and the design, realization and launch of a Mars Orbiter spacecraft capable of operating with sufficient autonomy during the voyage phase; Mars orbit placement/capture and orbital phase around Mars.

MOM, a technology demonstration initiative, carried five scientific payloads (15 kg total), collecting data on surface geology, morphology, atmospheric processes, surface temperature and atmospheric escape process.

The five instruments are: Mars Color Camera (MCC), Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS), Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM), Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyzer (MENCA), and Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP).

“MOM is credited with many laurels, including cost-effectiveness, short realization time, economic mass budget, and miniaturization of five heterogeneous science burdens,” ISRO officials said.

MOM’s highly elliptical orbital geometry allowed MCC to take snapshots of Mars’ ‘Full disk’ from its farthest point, and finer details from its closest point.

MCC has produced more than 1,000 images and published a Mars Atlas.

Meanwhile, plans for an ongoing ‘Mangalyaan’ mission to the red planet are yet to be finalized.

ISRO came out with an ‘Announcement of Opportunity’ (AO) for the future Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM-2) in 2016, but officials acknowledged it was still on the drawing board with the upcoming ‘Gaganyaan’, ‘Chandrayaan-3’ and ‘. Aditya – L1’ projects are on the space agency’s current priority list.

The AO said: “It is now planned to have the next orbital mission around Mars for a future launch opportunity. Recommendations are sought from relevant scientists in India for experiments on an orbital mission around Mars (MOM-2) to address relevant scientific issues and topics.” “It is not currently on the approved list,” a senior ISRO official told PTI when asked about an update to the MOM-2.

“We need to formulate project proposals and burdens based on broader consultation with the research community,” said the official. “It’s still on the drawing board. But it needs a little more detail and international cooperation to complete the task.”

(Apart from the headline, this news was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a joint broadcast.)

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