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Battery drained; link lost: India’s Mars orbiter craft Mangalyaan completes its long innings

Battery drained; link lost: India’s Mars orbiter craft Mangalyaan completes its long innings

The Mangalyaan mission, mounted at a budget lower than the Hollywood movie Gravity, exceeded its operational expectations as the spacecraft was inserted into Martian orbit on September 24, 2014 in the first attempt.

The Mars orbiter craft, made at Rs 450 crore, functioned for nearly eight years beyond its expected life of six months The Mars orbiter craft, made at Rs 450 crore, functioned for nearly eight years beyond its expected life of six months

Mangalyaan– India’s Mars Orbiter craft– has run out of propellant and its battery drained beyond safe limit making it difficult to be revived in Mars' orbit. This development is fuelling speculation that Mangalyaan’s mission is over. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), however, is yet to say anything on the matter of whether the probe can be revived or not. 

A source told news agency PTI, ‘RIght now, there is no fuel left. The satellite battery has drained.’ He added, “The link has been lost.” Another official noted that the satellite battery is designed to handle eclipse duration of only around one hour and 40 minutes.

He mentioned, “As the satellite battery is designed to handle eclipse duration of only about one hour and 40 minutes, a longer eclipse would drain the battery beyond the safe limit.”

The Mangalyaan mission, mounted at a budget lower than the Hollywood movie Gravity, exceeded its operational expectations as the mission was launched onboard PSLV-C25 on November 5, 2013 and the spacecraft was inserted into Martian orbit on September 24, 2014 in the first attempt.

The Mars orbiter craft, made at Rs 450 crore, functioned for nearly eight years beyond its expected life of six months. The Mangalyaan Mission’s objectives included design, realisation and launch of a Mars Orbiter spacecraft capable of operating with sufficient autonomy during the journey phase, Mars orbit insertion and in-orbit phase around Mars.

It also carried five scientific payloads focussed on collecting data on surface geology, atmospheric processes, surface temperature, morphology and atmospheric escape process. The five instruments are Mars Color Camera (MCC), Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS), Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP), Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA) and Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM).

Officials also credited Mars Orbiter Mission for economical budget, being cost-effective, having a shorter period of realisation and miniaturisationn of five heterogeneous science payloads.

(With agency inputs) 

Published on: Oct 03, 2022, 9:48 AM IST
Posted by: Mehak Agarwal, Oct 03, 2022, 9:37 AM IST