Science

ISRO to rev up Mangalyaan’s engine

ISRO scientists and engineers monitoring the orbiter from the heart of the mission centre at Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network in Bangalore. Photo: K. Murali Kumar

ISRO scientists and engineers monitoring the orbiter from the heart of the mission centre at Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network in Bangalore. Photo: K. Murali Kumar  

Scientists to carry out tests on September 22, two days before D-Day

The test-firing of the propulsion system on India’s spacecraft to Mars for four seconds on September 22, along with the orbiter’s trajectory correction manoeuvre (TCM), is “a mock-up rehearsal” for the entire Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) team for the main event scheduled on September 24, according to M. Annadurai, Programme Director, Indian Remote-Sensing Satellites and Small Satellites Systems, ISRO.

“The September 22 firing of the 440 Newton engine on our Mars orbiter is more like a trial. It will confirm the engine coming to life after it has remained dormant on the spacecraft for 300 days,” he said. He likened the firing of the engine and the TCM to “a repeat” of the spacecraft’s trans-Mars injection on December 1, 2013, when it was shot out of its earth-bound orbit into a sun-centric orbit and its 300-day voyage to the Red Planet began.

If the trial firing of the 440 Newton engine/the Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) is a success, Dr. Annadurai said, “then everything will go well on September 24 as per our plan.”

September 24 is the D-day for ISRO. That day its ground-controllers will give commands from its sophisticated Mission Operations Complex (MOX)-2 in Bangalore for the 440 Newton engine to fire for 24 minutes from 7.17 a.m. to reduce the spacecraft’s velocity and insert it into the Martian orbit. Ground controllers have already loaded the commands into the spacecraft for the events on September 22 and 24 and verified them too. “Basically, we don’t believe in the 11 hour preparations. Having prepared well for the examination and checked our systems ten days ahead, our confidence-level for the Mars orbit insertion is high,” Dr. Annadurai said.

S. Arunan, Project Director, MOM, said that by test-firing the LAM engine for four seconds, ISRO would be able to evaluate its performance in normal conditions. “If coil 1 is not successful, we will use coil 2. We will ensure that LAM performs either with the main or redundant coil. We will do this along with the TCM – to bring down the spacecraft altitude by 200 km.”

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 9:07:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/isro-to-rev-up-mangalyaans-engine/article6430097.ece

Next Story