In what appears to have been a remarkably flawless and precise operation ISRO’s MOM has entered Mars orbit. It is the first time that a country has succeeded to get a spacecraft to enter Martian orbit on its maiden attempt.
“We have the signal.
Expected – 1098.7 m/s”
(The Mars Orbit Insertion burn had a planned duration of 24 minutes and 14 seconds, slowing the spacecraft down by 1,098.7 meters per second to be captured in an elliptical orbit around Mars.)
The operations took place while the spacecraft was behind Mars. It seemed an endless wait for it to reappear. It was then a seemingly endless 12.5 minutes from when telemetry was reactivated and the signals were received confirming that the maneuvers had been successful.
The precise orbit achieved now awaits further tracking information.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at ISRO in time to witness the critical and historical phases of the orbit insertion procedures (and he is to be highly commended for preferring real things to the meaningless, pointless and futile climate change talkshop at the UN).
He was more than a little pleased.
A major step not just for India’s confidence in its technological capabilities but also for its geopolitical positioning against China.
BBC: If all goes well and the satellite orbits the Red Planet, India’s space agency will become the fourth in the world after those of the United States, Russia and Europe to undertake a successful Mars mission. …..
…… After India’s successful unmanned Chandrayaan mission to the Moon in 2008 that brought back the first clinching evidence of the presence of water there, the Mars mission, according to K Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), is a “natural progression”. …….
India sees the Mars mission as an opportunity to beat its regional rival China in reaching the planet, especially after a Russian mission carrying the first Chinese satellite to Mars failed in November 2011. Japan also failed in a similar effort in 1998.
China has beaten India in space in almost every aspect so far: it has rockets that can lift four times more weight than India’s, and in 2003, successfully launched its first human space flight which India has not yet embarked on. China launched its maiden mission to the Moon in 2007, ahead of India.
So if India’s mission succeeds, it will have something to feel proud about.