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MOM Indian spacecraft

MOM, the Indian technology demonstration

 Automatic translation  Automatic translation Updated October 13, 2014

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is the name of India's first spacecraft to Mars. His Indian name is Mangalyaan meaning "Martian vehicle". The probe aluminum and carbon, was launched November 5, 2013 and was placed in orbit around Mars, 10 months later, September 24, 2014 after a tumultuous journey of 780 million kilometers.
Indeed, the PSLV-XL is not powerful enough to put MOM (1350 kg, including 852 kg of propellant) directly on a trajectory to Mars, the probe was forced to use seven times the gravitational acceleration of the earth by standing on very elliptical orbits (see image against). To gradually raise its orbit, the spacecraft had to use his motor at each perigee passage, explaining the 852 kg of propellant on board. December 1, 2013, MOM lit a last time his main propulsion to escape Earth's gravity to be positioned in the right direction, that of Mars.
MOM embarks only 15 kg of dedicated hardware to 5 Indian scientific instruments whose mission is to understand why the atmosphere of Mars has escaped from the planet, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) . The probe also is intended to analyze, this atmosphere for detecting traces of methane which may be evidence of the existence of a primitive life.
For its second interplanetary mission, The first was Chandrayaan-1, Indian Space Agency (ISRO) has managed a real feat, that of, a probe into orbit around Mars in just three years, in fact the mission was conceived in 2010 and launched in November 2013.

NB: Chandrayaan-1 is the first space mission of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The probe of 1380 kg, launched 22 October 2008 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, was stabilized November 8, 2008 on a circular lunar orbit at 100 km altitude. The probe was equipped with an impactor, the MPI, which crashed deliberately in the southern polar region of the Moon. The mission was not until his term of two years since August 29, 2009, ISRO lost all contact with Chandrayaan-1.


The fourth maneuver which had to elevate the probe to the next orbit, was stopped early because of a small engine failure which resulted to reduce the extra boost, the probe was unable to accelerate as a speed 35 m/s instead of 135 m/s provided. So over the next maneuver, November 12, 2013, that Indian scientists have corrected the deficiency by increasing the apogee of 118 642 km, a slightly higher altitude than expected. It is for this reason that the fourth apogee (see image) is ≈78 000 km instead of ≈100 000 km find as expected. In the latest maneuver the final apogee was increased to 192 874 km Nov. 15, 2013.
The MOM probe has an extremely elliptical orbit around Mars, the periapsis is 427 km and apoapsis 78 500 kilometers. After a chaotic journey of a ten-month, the Indian spacecraft succeeded in entering the orbit of 78 500 × 427 km around the planet Mars, very close to that originally referred orbit was 80 000 × 500 km.

MOM maneuvers actuel in Earth orbit
DateBurn timeApogee reached
November 5, 2013launch 23 550 km
November 6, 2013416 s 28 825 km
November 7, 2013570.6 s 40 186 km
November 8, 2013707 s 71 636 km
November 11, 2013 incomplete  78 276 km
November 12, 2013303.8 s 118 642 km
November 16, 2013243.5 s 192 874 km
December 1, 20131328.89 s en route to Mars
September 24, 2014 arrival Mars orbit 

Table: actual maneuvers in Earth orbits the MOM Indian probe since its launch (November 5, 2013) to its seventh orbit around the Earth (1 December 2013). The middle column shows the time pushing main engine of the probe to go from one orbit to the next.

 Orbits the launch of the Indian MOM probe

Image: The orbitals maneuvers planned Indian probe around the Earth to be placed on an optimized trajectory to Mars. The probe used several times its main engine to benefit, on parabolic trajectories of the gravitational acceleration of the Earth. It as well compensated the weakness of the Indian launcher. Against part of the probe has a lot of fuel embark to reach sufficient speed and leave Earth's orbit then insert on a trajectory to Mars. The fourth maneuver which had to elevate the probe to the next orbit, was stopped early because of a small engine failure which resulted to reduce the extra boost, the probe was unable to accelerate as a speed 35 m/s instead of 135 m/s provided. © Isro

NB: Mars Orbiter Mission has cost as $ 74 million, i.e. less than the Hollywood film Gravity with Sandra Bullock ($ 100 million) or the ninth of the cost of Maven Mission ($ 671 million) NASA which also put its Mars Orbit in November 2014. The low cost of the mission is due to various factors, few ground tests, simple design, load capacity minimized, reducing labor costs, especially reducing delays . Although MOM with 5 instruments (15 kilos) can not compete with MAVEN and 9 instruments (65 kilos) since MOM is primarily a mission from India, a technology demonstration, and then a scientific approach.

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