Recently, India announce the countdown for start they first ever mission to planet by their own ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission (also called ‘Mangalyaan’), was launched on November 5, 2013. They said, Mangalyaan journey wont be an easy one event though still 300 days away from Mars. Thus, not all country been succeed in Mars mission, whatever it is, Indian space industry has much to learn from the Mars Orbiter Mission. There are some tips given by them to be able to track Mangalyaan’s progress over the next year.
Map the ride
The apogee has so far been boosted to over 1 lakh kilometers. The final midnight manoeuvre scheduled for November 30 will have the spacecraft boosted to an apogee of about two lakh kilometres. By now, the spacecraft would have attained a velocity high enough for it to be catapulted out of the Earth-bound orbit and into a sun-centric orbit.
SECOND, Mangalyaan’s goal now is to attain orbit around Mars using minimum fuel. The most efficient way to do this is to take a 690-million km trip in a sun-centric orbit to finally reach Mars orbit in September next year. That is a 300-day journey!
THIRD, Mangalyaan is reoriented into a Martian orbit by slowing it down and firing its engines. This is scheduled to happen on September 24, 2014 at 17:21 hrs. This process involves so many complex steps and timing, that even the smallest mistake can have the orbiter vanish into space.
Mars Colour Camera (MCC) will provide images of the Martian surface, and will be used to monitor the weather as well as for probing Mars’s satellites.
Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA) will study the composition of the Martian upper atmosphere.
Why some missions failed
Faulty software: Bad mathematics may not kill you, but they can kill spacecraft! NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter (1998) disintegrated because at one instance, its software used the wrong units (pounds, instead of Newtons). This caused the spacecraft to be placed too close to Mars where atmospheric stresses destroyed it.
Solar flares and fuel shortage: The communication systems of Japan’s Nozomi orbiter (1998) were disrupted by powerful solar flares. It also damaged the heat control system causing the fuel to freeze. It was unable to attain Mars orbit and operation was terminated.