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Mars Space Science

India's Mars Mission Back On Track After Brief Hiccup 73

Posted by Soulskill
from the drank-water-from-the-far-side-of-the-cup dept.
New submitter rahultyagi writes "After running into some problems in its fourth orbit-raising maneuver two days ago, Mangalyaan (India's Mars Orbiter Mission) seems to be back on track now. A supplementary burn lasting ~304 seconds was completed today, raising the apogee of MOM to 118,642 km — the intended apogee after the original maneuver. After the glitch two days ago, ISRO again seems to be on track to become the first entity to have a successful Mars mission on its first attempt. Though, of course, there are quite a few things that might still go wrong before this can be called a successful mission. Let's all hope that a year from now, we are all celebrating the entry of another nation into the small club capable of successful interplanetary missions."
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India's Mars Mission Back On Track After Brief Hiccup

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  • The real Triumph.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tanveer1979 (530624) on Wednesday November 13, 2013 @05:31AM (#45410671) Homepage Journal

    This is exciting. Really exciting. First the successful moon mission and now this.
    However, from a ISRO's standpoint, this is more significant from another angle too.
    With such low cost, now others are looking at India as a satellite launch country. Even before, those who wanted satellite launches, often came to ISRO if cost was an issue. But success rate was not too good.
    With this mission reaching this stage, ISRO has shown that it can launch any type of satellite. From satellite launch perspective, this is a complete success. No doubt about it.
    All these dollars invested will come back over the next few years, as more and more companies gain more trust in ISRO launch capabilities. I won't be surprised if ISRO recovers all the costs of this mission from commercial launches within the next 5 years.

    • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Wednesday November 13, 2013 @05:37AM (#45410699) Journal

      ... I was doing some reading on India's Mars mission and found two articles quoting the price tag for the entire mission to be $ 83 million.

      Yes, you read it right, Eight-Three-Million-United-States-Dollars !

      I don't know what NASA can come up with $ 83 Million, but I am pretty sure if NASA to send another probe to Mars it would be far greater than that.

      PS. To my Indian friends, can you please share with us how you guys can keep the budget so low?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Modular design, off-the-shelf components as far as possible and low salaries (obviously). Only one copy of the spacecraft was built as opposed to NASAs 2 or 3 .

      • I'm sorry, I forgot to include the links to the two new articles that I mentioned in my previous comment.

        Here they are ...

        http://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/india-to-launch-orbiter-to-mars-next-week--29838.html [indiatvnews.com] [indiatvnews.com]

        http://www.firstpost.com/india/will-isro-mars-mission-start-an-indo-china-space-race-1211933.html [firstpost.com] [firstpost.com]

      • PS. To my Indian friends, can you please share with us how you guys can keep the budget so low?

        duh, they obviously outsourced the work to ind-uhh... that is a good question.

        • by asliarun (636603)

          PS. To my Indian friends, can you please share with us how you guys can keep the budget so low?

          duh, they obviously outsourced the work to ind-uhh... that is a good question.

          Heh, that was quite funny!

          There's very little I know about ISRO. But there are a few things that work well in India (as a government run entity) and ISRO is definitely one of them. You have to understand that for several decades, Indian organzations like ISRO had to innovate and invent even basic engineering stuff largely in isolation. The homegrown Param supercomputer was also a repsonse to this - because most high technology items (even basic things like CPUs and interconnects) could not be imported as th

          • by Kwyj1b0 (2757125)

            As such, the frugality of organizations like ISRO is more of a byproduct of the severely constrained environment in which they grew up in.

            I had a chance to visit ISRO and DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) as a high school student (won some competition), and the difference in the approach was night and day. There are smart people in each organization, but the ISRO people seem to take pride in their work, and are very ambitious to succeed from the top down. They have a very efficient chain of command, and not much politics. They all work towards a common goal - there isn't the head of one lab pitching a mission to Pluto, whi

      • by Frankie70 (803801)

        I don't know what NASA can come up with $ 83 Million

        They will give it to CGI Federal to make nasa.gov web site which crashes & then ask people to call a 800 number where a cal center employee would describe what would have been shown if the site hadn't crashed.

      • by Frankie70 (803801) on Wednesday November 13, 2013 @09:39AM (#45411739)

        They didn't do everything. They did only the needful.

      • To my Indian friends, can you please share with us how you guys can keep the budget so low?

        The same way a subcompact car is cheaper than a sedan - it's smaller and less capable. (And in the case of MOM having a smaller suite of simpler instruments.) Building cheap is one thing, actually accomplishing it's mission is another. Despite the premature hype over "on track to be the first nation to reach Mars on it's first try", it remains to be seen if this approach will be a successful one. Let's wait and s

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      This is exciting. Really exciting. First the successful moon mission and now this. However, from a ISRO's standpoint, this is more significant from another angle too. With such low cost, now others are looking at India as a satellite launch country. Even before, those who wanted satellite launches, often came to ISRO if cost was an issue. But success rate was not too good. With this mission reaching this stage, ISRO has shown that it can launch any type of satellite. From satellite launch perspective, this is a complete success. No doubt about it. All these dollars invested will come back over the next few years, as more and more companies gain more trust in ISRO launch capabilities. I won't be surprised if ISRO recovers all the costs of this mission from commercial launches within the next 5 years.

      That's an excellent point - and one that people who criticise India for spending money on research should listen to. If this demonstrates the ability of the ISRO it is a good investment with the potential of bringing in many times that money as revenue. Apart from that so little is known about Mars that all data collected will add to our understanding.

  • The Mars Scorecard [anl.gov] could really use an update.
  • by v1 (525388) on Wednesday November 13, 2013 @03:36PM (#45415753) Homepage Journal

    five minutes is a pretty long correcting burn... I hope they didn't go through most of their spare fuel in the process. (TBH I wouldn't have expected them to have that much available in the first place, lifting spare fuel isn't like throwing a spare headlight in the trunk, five minutes' fuel is more like throwing a spare tire in the back seat) Anyone have any data on how much "buffer fuel" they carried, and how much they went through with this fix?

    • Was a bit concerned about this as well but from what I am reading the flow to the liquid fuel engines stopped resulting in an underburn. Since it wasn't a bad directional thrust or something no fuel was wasted during the failed 4th burn so most if not all of the fuel from the 5th emergency burn was leftover from the incomplete one. Lets hope for the best.

      • by v1 (525388)

        I had considered that, but the issue there is, underburn results in not getting as far away from a gravity well as you intended, and that should introduce an exponentially increasing energy requirement to recover. In other words, if you only burn 10 liters in the time you meant to burn 12, you can't just burn 2 and make up for it, because it's going to require a little more than that to get where you should be?

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