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Mars Space

Mangalyaan Gets Ready To Enter Mars Orbit 67

William Robinson (875390) writes India's Mars Orbiter Mission, known as Mangalyaan is now at a distance of just nine million kilometres from the red planet, and is scheduled to enter the orbit of Mars at 7.30 am on September 24. Mangalyaan was launched on 5th November 2013 by ISRO, presently busy planning to reduce the speed of the spacecraft through the process of firing the LAM engine and bring it to 1.6 km/sec, before it is captured by the planet's gravity. Eventually, the mission's official updates page should catch up.
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Mangalyaan Gets Ready To Enter Mars Orbit

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 24, 2014 @12:23PM (#47742173)

    India appears to be the ONE country that has the "ooomph" in terms of the CAN DO spirit

    Not only their space launch costs much less than the one from NASA, it costs less than the one from ESA (Europe), from Japan, from Russia and from China !

    We should learn from India on how to keep cost down

    Again, congratulations are in order for India !!

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      Correct me if I'm wrong but... would you happen to be rooting for India by any chance?

    • the ONE country eh? No other country has put orbiters around Mars and landers on Mars multiple times in the last 40 years?

      As for reduced cost, this Indian probe doesn't have a quarter the capability of NASA MRO

      But give them a couple decades, they'll be where NASA is now

  • Not news (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jiro ( 131519 ) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @12:26PM (#47742191)

    Because 9 million miles is no more newsworthy than 8 million or 10.

    I'm reminded of the old joke:

    "What famous event happened in 1732?"

    "George Washington was born."

    "Very good. Now what famous event happened in 1743?'

    "George Washington became 11 years old."

  • I think there's also a NASA mission set to arrive at Mars on Sept 22nd, a few days before the ISRO one, no?
  • by wisebabo ( 638845 ) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @12:43PM (#47742261) Journal

    Hmm... It's only ahead of the comet Siding Spring by about a month. Will it have time/fuel to "duck and cover" by getting to the far side of the planet before the close approach of the comet and the potential of a cometary dust storm that could wreck it? (Contrary to what some people think, it doesn't take much energy to change your orbital position IF you've got time. A simple change of 1 meter/sec from the thrusters will, after one year mean a distance of over 30,000 km. That simplification ignores some orbital dynamics but you get the picture.) Of course Mangalyaan doesn't have a year but it has much greater delta-vee capability, its orbital insertion burn is (I think) 1.6 KM/sec. And maybe it would've been on the far side of the planet anyway.

    On the other hand, maybe it's near the comet NOW, or nearer to the comet than any other spacecraft. Perhaps it can take some good close-ups of the comet or at least see it from a different angle. (If it can see a full or partial eclipse of the sun by the comet, scientists may be able to determine the comet's composition or the composition of the comet's coma. It might be able to do it using radio wave occultation from earth.). In any case, it's good that there will be another spacecraft near the comet when it arrives at mars! Too bad the U.S. isn't willing to risk sacrificing one of its older orbiters (I think one has been around mars for about a decade) for a close flyby. (Again, given enough advance planning, a surprisingly small amount of delta-vee would be required to put one of the orbiters on a collision course, especially if gravitational chaotic resonances AKA "the interplanetary highway" were harnessed.)

    Too bad we didn't know about this close encounter say a decade ago. We might have been able to send a probe that could've used mars' gravity to slingshot a probe into a matching trajectory with it so that, like the ESA Rosetta probe, we could rendezvous, orbit and land on it!

    • Another way to look at it is that the close encounter between a comet and Mars is perhaps a once in a century opportunity to learn about how material from the comet interacts with Mars and its atmosphere, so the satellites in orbit around Mars should mainly be looking down at the effects on Mars.

      Spacecraft-comet encounters can be had a lot more frequently than spacecraft-planet-comet encounters.

    • Will it have time/fuel to "duck and cover" by getting to the far side of the planet before the close approach of the comet and the potential of a cometary dust storm that could wreck it?

      While this is a non-zero probability event, it is a low probability event. I doubt that the mission planners are particularly worried about it.

      Maybe if there's a mission-compatible way of sequencing things that will reduce this low probability even further, at little cost (which is what Hubble did during a predicted Leonid

  • when the orbiter phones home, but I'm too tired at the moment to suss it out.
  • This must be the Flat Tyre Service (http://cria.co.in/crweb/flat-tyre-service/ [cria.co.in]) honouring the rumoured subscription of cash-strapped NASA.
    Considering the damage (http://www.space.com/26472-mars-rover-curiosity-wheel-damage.html [space.com]) there was no way Cross Roads (http://cria.co.in/crweb/ [cria.co.in]) could wiggle out of it's responsibility.
  • presently busy planning to reduce the speed of the spacecraft through the process of firing the LAM engine

    I'd hope they'd have got all of the planning done before launch, and would instead be getting busy implementing.

  • by GenaTrius ( 3644889 ) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @10:45PM (#47745101)
    I need to give Indian culture some serious study at some point, both ancient and contemporary. What little I've learned so far has been fascinating. I wouldn't be at all surprised if India surpassed the US in international prominance in a few decades.
  • Isn't it designed to look for Methane in Mars' atmosphere? And didn't the MSL rover (Curiousity) determine that there is no detectable methane in the air, at least at Gale, right?
    • If I'm correct, methane is lighter than carbon dioxide. Isn't it possible that methane that was produced long ago has settled on top of the CO2 layer, and can't really be detected from ground level?
      I'm actually seriously asking, I have no clue.
  • Who built the rocket and spacecraft? Was it the Indian space agency, or was it built by large aerospace companies for India?

                  mark "is he suggesting that the govenment, on civil service wages, could do it cheaper?"

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!