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Monday, October 2, 2017

Mangalyaan - Second Year Data

Mangalyaan Second Year Data from 24th September 2015 to 23rd September 2016

     Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), the maiden interplanetary mission of Indian Space Research Organisation, launched on 5th November 2013 by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C25 got inserted into Martian Orbit on 24 September 2014 in its first attempt. MOM completed 1000 Earth days in its orbit on 19 June 2017, well beyond its designed mission life of six months. 1000 Earth days corresponds to 973.24 Mars Sols (Martian Solar Days) and MOM completed 388 orbits.

     MOM is credited with many laurels like cost-effectiveness, short period of realisation, economical mass-budget, miniaturization of five heterogeneous science payloads etc.. Satellite is in good health and continues to work as expected. Scientific analysis of the data received from Mars Orbiter Spacecraft is in progress.

     ISRO has also launched MOM Announcement of Opprtunity (AO) programmes for researchers in the country to use MOM data for R&D. The success of Mars Orbiter Mission has motivated India's student and research community in a big way. Thirty-two proposals were supported under this AO. A Planetary analysis workshop was also conducted to strengthen the MOM-AO scientist's research interest.

First year data from MOM was released to public on 24 September 2016 through ISSDC website. There are 1494 registered users and 17278 downloads done so far.

     The Mars Colour Camera, one of the scientific payloads onboard MOM, has produced more than 715 images so far. Mars Atlas was prepared and made available on ISRO Website.

     MOM went through a communication 'blackout' as a result of solar conjuction from 2nd June 2015 to 2nd July 2015. Telemetry data was received during most of the conjuction period except for 9 days from 10 June to 18 June 2015, during superior conjuction.MOM was commanded with autonomy features starting from 18th May 2015, which enabled it to survive the communication 'blackout' period without any ground commands or intervention. The spacecraft emerged out of blackout period with auto control of the spacecraft subsystems successfully. This experience had enabled the mission team to program a spacecraft about one month in advance for all operations.

     MOM spacecraft experienced the 'whiteout' geometry during 18-30th May 2016. A whiteout occurs when the earth is between the Sun and Mars and too much solar radiation may make it impossible to communicate with the Earth. The maximum duration of whiteout is around 14 days. MOM spacecraft experienced the whiteout during May 2016. However, MOM is built with full autonomy to take care of itself for long periods without any ground intervation. The entire planning and commanding for the whiteout was completed 10 days before the actual event. No commanding was carried out on the satellite in the whiteout period. Payload operations were suspended. Fault Detection, Isolation and Recovery were kept enabled, so as to take care of any contigency on the spacecraft. Master Recovery Sequencer was programmed, to acquire the attitude of the spacecraft and ensure communication with earth even in case of loss of attitude. The Spacecraft came out of whiteout geometry successfully on 30 May 2016 and has been normalized for regular operations.

     An orbital manoeuvre was performed on MOM spacecraft to avoid the ompending long eclipse duration for the satellite. The duration of the eclipse would have been as long as 8 hours. As the satellite battery is designed to handle eclipse duration of only about 1 Hour 40 minutes, a longer eclipse would have drained the battery beyond the safe limit. The manoeuvres performed on 17 January, all the eight numbers of 22N thrusters were fired for a duration of 431 seconds, achieving a velocity difference of 97.5 m/s. This has resulted in a new orbit for the MOM spacecraft, which completely avoided eclipse up to September 2017. About 20kg propellant was consumed for this manoeuvres leaving another 13kg of propellant for its further mission life.

  • MOM Data workshop was held is SAC, Ahmedabad for AO participants during March 2017.
  • Many Science papers based on MOM instrument data has been published in various international journals.

Links for Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) |  Mangalyaan Data:
Credits: Text and Image Credit : Indian Space Research Organisation


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