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ISRO upbeat about Mars mission launch

Last updated on: November 04, 2013 10:56 IST

ISRO upbeat about Mars mission launch

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Vicky Nanjappa

There is a lot of buzz at Sriharikota where the Indian Space Research Organisation prepares to launch the ambitious Rs 450 crore Mars mission called the Mangalyan.

The launch is set for 2.38 pm on Tuesday and ISRO officials say that currently they are carrying out mandatory checks and preparations for propellant filling operations of the second stage PS2. The propellant filling of PS4 was completed on Sunday.

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Image: Mars Orbiter Mission Spacecraft attached to the 4th stage of PSLV-C25 and ready for heat shield closure
Photographs: Courtesy: ISRO

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ISRO upbeat about Mars mission launch

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ISRO scientists are satisfied with the progress and are confident of a successful launch on Tuesday.

“The weather conditions are good and we are hopeful there will be no glitches,” an ISRO official pointed out.

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Image: PSLV-C25 with heat shield closed
Photographs: Courtesy: ISRO
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ISRO upbeat about Mars mission launch

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The 10-month journey which will commence on Tuesday will fly by the Comet C/2013A1 as the comet contains methane. According to the programme director M Annadurai this would be observed using the methane sensor.

“The spacecraft which would undertake a ten month journey is expected to reach the Martian atmosphere in the third week of September, 2014. This would mean that the spacecraft would cover 400 million kilometres in 300 days before reaching the Martian atmosphere,” Annadurai said.

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Image: Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft being prepared for a prelaunch test at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Srihairkota
Photographs: Courtesy: ISRO

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ISRO upbeat about Mars mission launch

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ISRO officials also said that this is a risky journey as only less than 25 of the spacecraft sent by the other countries have been able to complete the journey to Mars.

ISRO officials said that the weather on Tuesday will be extremely crucial. With storms and bad weather hitting the Andhra Pradesh coast, nothing can be said clearly about the weather conditions.

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Image: Spacecraft integration
Photographs: Courtesy: ISRO
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ISRO upbeat about Mars mission launch

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Originally slated for an October 28 launch, it had to be postponed due to bad weather. However, in case bad weather prevails on Tuesday, another date would have to be considered.

Officials said there is a launch window open till November 19. However, the journey would have to commence latest by November 30 and any further delay would prove fatal for the mission.


Image: Loading spacecraft for thermovacuum test in large space simulation chamber
Photographs: Courtesy: ISRO
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