[ Update Sept.22.14: The 4 second test of the engine was successful: Mangalyaan engine test-fire successful, all set for Mars now - Hindustan Times.]
Following jus two days after the arrival of NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft at Mars (see previous post), India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) probe will go into orbit around the Red Planet on Wednesday September 24th.
This is the first deep space mission by India. The probe was launched into earth orbit on Nov. 5, 2013 via a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket from the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradeshand.
On Dec. 1, 2013 MOM fired its engine to send it on a trajectory to intersect with Mars this week.
On Monday Sept. 22, there will be a brief 4 second firing test of the engine to insure it is still working correctly after its long dormancy. Then on Wednesday MOM will fire the engine for 24 minutes to go into orbit around Mars.
A top goal of the Mars Orbiter Mission is to strengthen the technical capabilities of the Indian space program. The scientific goals of the mission are to study the Martian atmosphere and the morphology and mineralogy of the planet’s surface.
Articles about the mission:
- India’s Mangalyaan all set to enter Mars orbit – India Today
- US, Indian probes prepare to go into Mars orbit – The Hindu
- Indian Probe Scheduled To Begin Orbiting Mars Sept. 24 – SpaceNews.com
Indian space agency info about the mission:
- Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)
- Mars Orbiter Insertion – ISRO (pdf) – slide presentation
- Updates on the Mars Orbiter Mission – ISRO
A documentary about the mission: