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Raumfahrt - ISRO´s MARS Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C25 (PSLV-C25) auf Mars-Kurs Teil-1

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9.11.2013

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  • 3rd orbit raising manoeuvre on Mars Orbiter

Chennai, Nov 9 (PTI) The third of the total of five orbit raising manoeuvres of the Mars Orbiter spacecraft was performed early this morning, raising its apogee, the farthest point from Earth, to over 71,000 km.

The manoeuvre started at 2:10 AM today and raised the spacecraft's apogee from 40,186 km to 71,636 km with a burn time of 707 seconds, ISRO said.

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Quelle:ISRO

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Sriharikota: The third of the five orbit raising manoeuvres of Mars Orbiter spacecraft has been successfully completed early Saturday, the Indian Space Research Organisation said.

The manoeuvre, which began at 02:10:43 hrs (IST), raised the apogee from 40186 kms to 71636 kms, with a burn time of 707 seconds.

 
The first and second orbit-raising manoeuvres of the spacecraft were performed on November 7 and 8 respectively.

India’s first interplanetary spacecraft was launched into an elliptical earth orbit onboard PSLV C 25 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, on November 05, 2013.

The 1,340-kg spacecraft will orbit earth for nearly a month before the final firing on December 1 which will send the Orbiter on Mars Transfer Trajectory.
Quelle: ZMB
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Mars spacecraft undergoes third orbit-raising exercise

CHENNAI: Four days after its launch from Sriharikota, India's first Mars orbiter underwent the third orbit-raising exercise early on Saturday.

"The third orbit raising manoeuvre of Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, starting at 02:10:43 hrs (IST) on Nov 09, 2013, with a burn time of 707 seconds has been successfully completed. The observed change in Apogee is from 40186km to 71636km," Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) said in a statement on Saturday morning. This means that the orbiter's farthest point from Earth has been increased from 40,186km to 71,636km. The spacecraft is in an elliptical orbit around Earth, with its closest point to Earth being 252km.

In the first two orbit-raising exercises, Isro scientists at the Spacecraft Control Centre in Bangalore increased the farthest point from 23,550km to about 28,900km, and later to more than 40,000km by remotely firing the orbiter engine. After two more such operations that would put the spacecraft at an apogee of about 1.9 lakh km, the orbiter will be injected into a trans-martian trajectory outside the earth's influence. After a 300-odd day voyage, the spacecraft is expected to reach a Mars orbit on September 24, 2014.

Quelle: The Times of India

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Update: 10.11.2013

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We have to turn on Mars Mission's instruments after 300 days: K Radhakrishnan

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, Chairman, , who refuses to get flustered by any situation, seemed at ease barely days before his brainchild, the (MOM) would leave Earth's orbit for a 300-day journey to Mars. He sat down at his office, which is facing a lush green garden, with T E Narasimhan and Praveen Bose  to share what ISRO is up to. Excerpts:

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You are still celebrating the successful launch of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM). What next?
We had launched the spacecraft PSLVC25 on November 5 and we placed the Mars Orbiter spacecraft very precisely into an elliptical orbit around Earth.

The perigee (the closest point to Earth) was 247 kms and (the farthest point in the orbit of the Earth) was 23,563 kms inclination was what he wanted.

The operations going on now are for raising the apogee from 23,563 km to nearly 192,000 kms and that should happen by November 16 and we have this trans-Mars injection in the early hours of December 1, 2013.

During the last two days –on Thursday and Friday – the apogee was raised to 28,825 kms and perigee was 252 km, i.e. when the satellite comes to the perigee we do the firing and change the shape of the eclipse. This (Friday) morning also we had one manoeuver and apogee was raised to 40,055 kms and the perigee is now 262 kms.

We have more operations planned, one is early hours on November 9 th (to around 71,000 kms) and another one is on November 11   (to nearly 100,000 kms) and then on 16 th (1.92 lakh kms).

Operation on the morning of December 1, and we will impart a specific velocity to the spacecraft so that in September 2014 this spacecraft is close to Mars and that position would be 500 kms, plus or minus 50 kms.

The crux of the success of the operation on December 1is we should be able to estimate precisely the velocity and the time we need to impart the velocity to the spacecraft so that it takes that position and in that the computation of the spacecraft navigation is important. How it passes from the sphere influence of Earth and enters a heliocentric orbit.

On September 24, 2014,we have to reduce the velocity and   that is the next major operation. If we are able to reduce the velocity precisely at that particular point of time, then we get the orbit and finally, the instruments will be operated.

What will happen once itsets out on the long journey to Mars?
From now till reaching Mars, we have the Earth-bound phase and the cruising phase. We will be energising the scientific instruments. The calibration process will go on enroute. As of now, we have checked the spacecraft's subsystems, and they are working well and these two successful missions (orbit raising) also indicate that the propulsion system, and control systems are all functioning well.

We are able to estimate the amount of burn required or the burn time, and how much velocity is required to reach the orbit.

What were the challenges you faced for the mission?
This is India's first interplanetary probe and they are very complex; and if you take India, this is presently the most complex space mission we have undertaken.

Two, we are of course learning from the earlier missions.

The time available from the feasibility study was quite short i.e. June 2011 to its launch in November 2013.

The project was approved by the Cabinet, and Prime Minister announced it in August 2012. The requirements for the mission is that we have to execute it on the D-Day i.e. November 30 or early morning of December 1 when the spacecraft needs to leave the Earth orbit.

The cushion available for us was only one or two weeks for the launch because we need to have the launch of the satellite in the first orbit by the middle of November so that we could do the orbit raising and then ready it to move towards Mars.

What were the technical challenges you faced leading up to the mission?
One is in terms of the complexities that needed to be addressed of the spacecraft in terms of autonomy of the craft, and in terms of the restart capability that had to be verified. The engine has to operate from the time the is put in orbit to the time the spacecraft is put in the orbit of Mars, and there is a gap of nearly 300 days between the first phase of operation, i.e. from December 1 this year to September, 2014.

For the long time gap, testing had to be done over a period of time, and   we have done that.

For the second part, we had to build the level of autonomy in the spacecraft so that despite the communication delay (because the distance between the Earth and Mars will cause communication delays of four minutes or longer, between the spacecraft and engineers on the Earth) the spacecraft is able to manage contingencies by itself.

These are the challenges we have gone through.

What do you think would be most complex part of the mission?
Third part of it is when you have the spacecraft of this nature reaching the orbit of Mars, 85% of the objectives are met because technologically that is the complex part and we have demonstrated that once the spacecraft reaches the orbit of Mars, we can turn on the instruments on spacecraft. We have been trying to do so from June 2011 when we started the process and identified five reliable instruments and that itself was a challenge.

One, of identify the theme you require and look at instruments with the required specifications.   That is another major challenge.

How did you augment the infrastructure on the ground for the mission?
The entire ground station needed to gear up for this. The first augmentation was made for Chandrayaan where it is 400,000 kms. But here it is 400 million kms. Secondly, you require much more power to manage precious ranging and we need to bring in stations of JPL into consideration to fill up the visibility gaps.

If you look at the ground station for tracking, in earlier missions we used to have at Port Blair, international location at Brunei and in Indonesia. We can see upto 23 minutes of the flight, but this is beyond 23 minutes, upto 44 minutes to monitor the critical operation of separation of the satellite and the deployment of solar panel, we required ground stations but those ground stations are on land.

So we need to deploy for the first time the ship-bound ground stations and we approached the Shipping Corporation of India and got two vessels, and we had one ground station with 4.6 metre antenna system so that was fitted on SCI Nalanda and then we also got one 1.8 metre terminal of the DRDO that was fitted on SCI Yamuna and they started moving to the location in September. But since it could not reach on time, we postponed the launch by one week to November 5. These were vessels were deployed at south Pacific Ocean.

These ships' performance were critical because only they would tell us about the ignition of the fourth stage and the injection of the satellite and the separation of the satellite.

From June 2011 to November 2013, we had to ensure all these have been done and we have to do it on a fast track mode and the mission we are doing is complex. So we have to ensure all issues are properly addressed and necessary measures taken and then people worked almost round the clock and we had to additional tests on the spacecraft.

Somebody could ask if you reduced any testing, and we have not. Instead, we added one more test which is called the thermal balance test.

How do you assess the PSLV XL as a launch vehicle?
On the whole, the PSLV XL has done four successful missions. But, the PSLV had to do a totally different job in this mission. You would have seen that the flight duration was nearly 44 minutes compared to 20 minutes for a normal PSLV mission because we wanted to ensure one more parameter at the point of injection i.e. "argument of perigee", which was around 282 degrees compared to 180 degrees which was put in the previous missions.

So it required long coasting phase and it was coasting phase between the burnout of the third stage and the beginning of fourth stage ignition. So, the first time we were going for a long gap between the two and when you get into that kind of regime there are temperature issues that need to be understood because you will not be in the visibility of sun and second, you have to look at the satellite system once it is injected because of the thermal condition.

What have done to deal with the extreme cold in outerspace?
Since it will be cold, the solar panel deployment has to take place immediately after the separation of the satellite and we needed high quality solar panel mechanism for functioning the negative temperature like -26 degree Celsius, -30 degree Celsius. This is a micro level challenge; but it's critical item.

If the solar panel does not deploy properly and it is a three-folder system. So, two, deployment has to take place and they have to take place as scheduled. If it doesn’t take place, we have the problem of power and problem with the mission then itself.

Was 15 months justifiable for such a mission?
We did not start from zero, there are a lot of things known to us as far as the mission is concerned, and orbit-raising operations around Earth are known and we have been doing it from geo stations for the GSLV, GSAT and Insat. If you look at orbit-raising and moving towards a different object outside the Earth's gravity we did it with Chandrayaan and we have that experience.

Number two, if you talk about a general spacecraft bus, we have the heritage of the former missions in communication, and remote sensing. What you require in that is a large delta that is what we were doing it and ensuring that the total system is in place.

Yes, the time is tight, but it has been done.

If you look at the normal way of working, it was an impossible schedule; but when you are determined to do it and the teams are giving their best for their project, then you can say nothing is impossible and you can do it.

How did you manage these at a lower cost (compared to others)?
If you take India's space programme in general budget for the programme is small and noting the fact that ISRO is one of the first six space agencies, including NASA, Russia, European Space Agency, Japan, China and ISRO. Last few years we are at six.

Our budget is 7.5% of NASA’s budget and that is one indicator.

What is the secret then? One, there is an outlook for each of these agencies, and if you look at Russian programme, they have a large number of launches taking place. They believe in building robustness in the rocket and they don’t worry about optimisation and they have a large vehicle and it can be produced in large quantities. But, for that they do extensive amount of testing on the ground on different articles, and they conduct several tests. So this is one philosophy. But their systems are very robust.

In American system, generally you can see optimisation and if you look at India from the SLV III, Aryabatta's time from the '70s we have been following the modular approach (one project, feeds into next one). In space system, always perigee is essential and that is you should see a system that has performed well in the space orbit. So, modular approach also helps and once you do the modular approach it may not be the optimum because given free hand to you, you would have designed slightly differently so that you can get the best out of it. But in the modular approach what happens is you have a reliable system coming into it, and that is already development which is taken place and getting fed to a new system.

For example, in '70s we had the SLV III that was a four-stage rocket, we also had a communication satellite programme called Apple. That was the first communication satellite we built and here the satellite had to be launched by Arianespace in its second developmental flight to a geostation transfer orbit and we have to make it as circular an orbit using a small rocket put into the Apple spacecraft.

Are there any learnings from that period implemented now?
Now the job of the liquid engine, we see in the Mars Orbiter or Geostation satellites, was done at that time by a solid motor and that solid motor was the fourth stage of SLV III. Suppose we decided that time to develop reductive engine, that would have been an ideal choice, but it would have taken time. Here we could feed from one programme, a module that was developed into another programme. This is one of the early experiments we had, one is the necessity and second, one you take that approach and do additional testing. The basic development is done.

How are the launch vehicle programmes progressing?
Our launch vehicles are the PSLV, GSLV and GSLV Mark III. We need to look at their configurations.

PSLV development started in 1982; the feasibility study was done in 1979 by Late S Srinivasan, former study director and first project director. Approval came from the government in 1982 and first developmental flight was in 1993; of course that was the only failure in the PSLV and in 1994 first successful flight of PSLV injected a remote sensing spacecraft IRS IE of 850 kgs.

Imagine, 1979 to 1994 we had been in a development phase. All the systems were developed, tested and how did it get into the next programme is the story.

S139 stage in PSLV today, originally it was with slightly with lower propalene S125, you augmented. The same was used in the GSLV, so the core of the GSLV first stage is the same S139 so it means there were no extra development effect required. If you look at the second stage of the PSLV, based on liquid engine and that engine is Vikas. The legacy of Vikas starts with the French space programme where for the Ariane development programme they developed a Viking engine and during the development phase our Indian engineers selected from Isro worked with the organisation called SAP France for about three years. In the process they acquired technology. It’s a beautiful arrangement, where you don’t transfer money for this purpose, work with them and acquire technology and we realised that engine in India. Along with the Indian industry participating and as of now we have nearly produced 120 engines and we made the second stage of the PSLV using this engine and over the years we also improved this engine and enhanced its capacity.

One engine and the stage arranged around that.

If you look at the GSLV configuration, we made the best use of this technology. We used the same stage for the second stage of GSLV.

GSLV also required augmentation. If you look at the lower portion of the GSLV, second stage, core of the first stage and strap-ons it is derived from the development effect of the PSLV. If we had started from the knowhow got a configuration of the GSLV and used the best for that, it would have required different configuration, and in a different phase of development. For the GSLV, we have to worry about the cryogenic engine.

What do you lose in the process ?
Because we adopted the configuration, modules which are tested and proved only one small difficulty; the L40s (liquid) and core S139 (solid) are together. The core 139 will complete its job before L40 finish its job. So what happens for some period is that the dead weight of S139, that is the chamber, is also carried. Ideally what we do is one stage does its job and we separate it so that it does not have to carry; this is the small penalty we are giving for taking testing modules and reliable module.

New module would take time.

GSLV Marl III, the core of liquid stage L110 and its based on twin-engine configuration, since it has to fire longer, so we have to worry about the nozzle, thermal aspects and all and that stage is configured.

And, about the satellites…
A spacecraft can be divided into two sections, one is the platform and the second one is the payload. We have different capacities for the platforms, if you look at communication we had one tonne, then we became two, 3.5 now and we are going to six tonnes.

So if the platform is proven, then you will change only the payloads. That means you will have standard sets of platforms.

You seem obsessed with the schedules.
The other aspect, when it comes to cost is we are obsessed with our schedules. In Isro, it is always told who fixes the schedule and target for us, and we put that. For example, we could have done the Mars Mission in 2016 or 2018. But we decided that in the first opportunity we will do it and then we worked towards that. If we have five or ten year schedule, the way you go towards that to achieve it is totally different and it also has cost and that is one of the keys to our success.

The schedules which are fixed are also optimistic and normally we achieve around that. If we have to keep the momentum of any project it has to be on a fast track; everybody should be galvanised to meet that and you should see events take place and only then can people be galvanised.

How do you control costs?
When you are obsessed with the schedule and not much schedule overruns, again the cost will come down.

Third one is that we are always novel in our approach. Somebody may call it a new terminology, but whatever it is we use a novel approach. Chandrayaan, for instance, had to reach 14 kms per second velocity embedded to the spacecraft; but we achieved it in an efficient way. We used the launch vehicle to provide part of it using the PSLV and the remaining part was provided by the spacecraft propulsion system, which is more efficient.

Working culture, novel method, modularity, optimisation of test, obsession with quality and salary of people all these help to make the missions cheaper compared to other space organizations.

What was your approach in case of the Mars Mission?
Like what we are seeing today, we did not launch the orbiter into the 200,000 kms apogee, we are going step by step and if you look at the total energy you consumed to give the velocity of 9.8 kms per second, it was given by the PSLV itself and the subsequent 1.6 km per second by the fuel in the spacecraft itself; from November 5 to December 1 we can see a nice picture emerging.

For the 9.8 kms per second velocity for that spacecraft we needed an entire PSLV XL vehicle; now the remaining part is done by a small liquid engine which is sitting in the spacecraft and the consumption of the fuel will be very less and more efficient.

This is the novelty of this mission, instead of directly putting into the orbit. Spacecraft propulsion system is important

To raise the apogee from 23,563 kms to 192,000 kms we are using around 340 kgs of fuel stored in the spacecraft to impart it a velocity of nearly around 1 km per second.

The PSLV XL was 320 tonnes and you have to use it to reach that orbit.

We used the propellant capability to raise the orbit, from here towards the Mars.

Ideally, we could have gone for a higher apogee; but we would have used a bigger rocket, but we used a small novel approach.

Was it the novel approach used for Chandrayaan too?
Yes, and that is why the GSLV was not used, and PSLV is the answer.

Minimum energy is used to transport it in a certain geometry on earth and mars orbit, that’s why we insist on time for the current shape.

For 30 days we had a launch window, and we generated a trajectory

The next part of it is extensive amount of ground testing to qualify in the new system; several test optical and others. What we do is we get the maximum out of the test we do. We designed the test such a way that you get the maximum information out of that test, so that the number of tests can be brought down; that means you save money and time.

With such tight schedules, can you describe Isro's work culture?
We are different in working style, and people put in 18-hour days. During launch, people take just four hours rest.

They give their blood to the programme and organisation. Passion and obsession are on the programme.

In one of the missions, four days before the launch the mission authorisation board had cleared the vehicle for the project. Then, the project director’s father expired; he went there and completed the funeral and came back and he conducted the mission, and the launch was completed and then he went back. He is the mission director, and all others are around him. He is the one who gives the key. But, it is not an isolated case.

People don’t worry about their annual vacation, casual leave, events etc., Many launches came at a time when there was a festival. But people work. They have passion to work.

This is how impossible becomes possible.

Because of Mars Mission did Isro slowed down other missions or work?
No. we have 16,000 people working with Isro and from late '80s our numbers have gone up, though we also have industry supporting us.

While the number of missions have been going up, manpower did not increase.

From 1975 to 2009, we did 82 missions (29 launch vehicles and 53 satellites), 2010 to 2013 in four years we did 27 missions i.e of 109 missions over the last 38 years, 27 have been done in the last four years.

Mars Mission feasibility study was done in August 2010; during the period we can see the performance. These are also complex satellites and newer machines like microwave remote sensing satellites or the navigation satellites.

How many launches planned?
We have 18 missions lined up. Up to March 2015, in 15 months, we have lined up 18 missions.

No mission in the previous years or the missions in the future were affected because of the accelerated way of working. In fact, we have had the accelerated way of working everywhere.

Of all the missions we have done in the last four years, some of them were new and all the launches were done at Sriharikota, if it's our launch vehicles.

There's been a quantum jump in other programmes in the last 3-4 years.

We had 82 in 35 years vs 27 in four years, and we have not compromised. Each programme will have its own problems like technology or project issue.

Can you compare the PSLV and GSLV?
From 1993 to 2013, we have had 25 flights of PSLV. Except for the first one, all were successful. Over these years we have enhanced the capacity of the PSLV. Initially it was to put 850 kg remote sensing satellite. For the same PSLV we augmented the capacity by improving the propulsion system and we also improved the avionics, and made it a better system

Today, it can launch 1,850 kg microwave remote sensing satellite; to that level we have stretched capacity.

GSLV experience has been slightly bitter. It was not very successful like the PSLV. Of the seven flights three failed.

What tests have been doing on the engine front for the GSLV?
In 2003 we tested the engine and in 2007, we qualified the stage. In the last three years. we did 20 ground tests. We tested the fuel booster turbo pump. We have been testing at higher altitudes and we have been working on it on a war footing. In February 2012, we decided to do the high altitude simulated testing. We tried to augment our facilities for testing the GSLV cryogenic engine. It was considered impossible to do it in one year. But, eventually we did it In March, and we held two tests at the facility. Again work is on at Mahendragiri on high altitude testing. We had to do extensive changes to the facility so that at high altitude conditions, it works.

What are your worries on the heavy lift vehicle (GSLV)?
First and foremost worry is that the launch vehicle, the GSLV and the second is that of the cryogenic stage.

We have qualified both the solid and L110 tonne liquid stage, which is a high-powered stage. When we do a test on the cryogenic stage… priority is on the cryogenic stage and cryogenic engine. Till we get this right we will not have the capability to launch four-tonne class satellite, and till then we will have to depend on Ariane for launching communication satellites in the 4 tonne class. Now, this in a good stage. We have to exploit its potential. In March, 2014 we plan a launch. We have to look at the vehicle in toto. Right now aerodynamic stage testing is on.

We have issues with transponder capacity. How do you plan to augment it?
For transponder capacity, we use a three-pronged approach. One, we build a communication satellite of 3.5 tonne class and then get it launched from abroad. Second, we use the PSLV and launch 2 tonne class satellites. Three, use foreign transponders. We have foreign transponders now. We now have new capabilities.

After Mars, what's your immediate task?
The Mars mission has a long way to go. But, it's not massive in nature, though it has to be precise. The velocity has to be precise. It has not been done so far. For the GSLV launch in December 2013, we have seen all plans through.

Is there any convention yet on Mars exploration? What's ISRO done?
We should not create pollution there. There's no convention yet with regards to Mars as there is with the moon. As of now there are few exploring it. In future, we see such a convention coming just like the moon treaty. In case of Mars we can have a geo-satellite. But, this is a different class. We can have an inter-planetary fly-by (like the Voyager of NASA).

Where could we go from here on Mars?
The next one is the orbiter. This will help us take a closer look at the planet. The third, is to land there. It can be a soft or hard landing. In case of Chandrayaan, it came down by itself. If landing is precise, it will be soft landing.

The next is that of sample returns. The spacecraft can take samples and bring it back. But, it needs the mechanism to store it and bring it back. That's the next level of complexity. The next is the human flight to Mars.

What are the kind of collaborations ISRO could consider?
There could be collaboration in the areas of lunar exploration, and for exploring the sun and Mars explorations. We can have a larger mission. We are able to do that. The next one has to be a more complex mission. We did a joint project of building a satellite with the French called Meghatropique a while ago. We had worked with the French on developing two landers.

We have now done a joint study with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

What's the joint study with JPL all about?
With the JPL, the study is on microwave remote sensing. It's about the study of pulse and know what is not normally visible cloudy conditions, for instance If cloud is there. In remote sensing, depending on the frequency one can identify what's there by depending on frequency characteristic change. For instance, the 'L' band studies vegetation. Another one, the S band gives another study. Or, the X band gives another feel. We have done studies with the C Band. In the project with JPL, we look at both L and S band.

The spacecraft will be made by us. There's a very large antenna required which will be a 12 metre diameter antenna. This will be launched by 2019-20. In the second phase, we do the project report preparation. Then, we work on satellite together.

On the Chandrayaan. NASA brought instruments. In this case it will be a collaboration. Both agencies will work together.

Please describe the benefits derived for people from the findings of ISRO.
The Madras School of Economics did a study 2000-03 study that studied the tangible and intangible benefits from ISRO's work. How communication is structured, and how disaster management reports are studied. It has direct and indirect economic benefits and also intangible benefits are derived. It is cost-effective, if it is made in that. On the application side, it has gone into many areas. A few more areas are to be done. If you look at fishermen, using the surface temperature data we give daily forecasting on the right place to find food catch. The information is displayed on the notice board in fishing harbours. You find many fishermen using GPS now for a good catch based on the information we provide.

These are areas where fish is in plenty. Some days you get a good catch. We carry the announcements in each language in the coastal areas, such as in Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, Konkani, Oriya, Bangla and any other language spoken in the respective areas. In Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadeep too we provide the information. It gives direct benefit to millions of people. There are about 100,000 fishing vessels. If fishing vessels can get precise data, then savings on vessel diesel is huge.

Now it's an active season for agriculture. In agriculture, we use remote sensing to estimate crop production. We use technology and put it in a model. The Mahalanobis Centre for Crop Forecast in New Delhi uses ISRO's data. We also look at water resources. The GSI uses it for information on land area. One can get large-scale mop, for instance 1: 10,000. Planners use it to see what is it they need to do to optimise the impact their work. It helps in Informed decision-making. The budget on this is Rs 50,000-60,000 crore.

In case of ground water, using conventional method, one may derive only about 50% of the water that once can get. Features like faults for example can be found. In this method, the success rate is 90%. Maps help people to locate wells in right place. If a farmer spends Rs 1 lakh and gets water, that's a direct benefit.

Also, in the '70s, thousands of people died in cyclones. Now it is reduced because ISRO is able to provide timely information.

Quelle: Business Standard

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Update: 11.11.2013

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Chennai, Nov 11: India's Rs.450 crore Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) seemed to have suffered a hiccup on Monday morning when its orbit was being raised for the fourth time, going by the postings on the mission's official Facebook page.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in a posting on its Facebook page had said: "During this firing an incremental velocity of 35 m/s (metres per second) has been imparted to the spacecraft. We will come back to you after Orbit determination."
However, ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan told IANS over phone, "There is no hiccup. The apogee (farthest point from earth) achieved is 78,276 km."
As per plans, the Mars Orbiter was to be taken to an apogee of about 100,000 km from 71,636 km.
Commenting on ISRO's posting on the social networking site's page, a senior official not wanting to be named told IANS: "If that is the number then there seems to be an issue."
Another senior official on condition of anonymity said: "In the next two orbit raising activities (Nov 15 and Nov 30) the deviations would be corrected."
"There will be an official version soon," he added.
He said Nov 15 and Nov 30 activities were important and all the issues would be sorted out before that.
Usually ISRO updates the result of the orbit raising activity on its website but on Monday there was no update leading to speculation.
Quelle: IANS live

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Update: 12.11.2013 

Mars mission back on track after engine glitch, says Isro

The fourth supplementary orbit raising manoeuvre of the Mangalyaan started at 5:03am with a burn time of 303.8 seconds.
The apogee was successfully changed from 78,276km to 1,18,642km.
The  velocity added was 124.9m/s.
"Everything is normal," said an Isro scientist.
The spacecraft suffered a minor hurdle on Monday morning during its fourth orbit raising operations.
With one more orbit raising operation, it will finally move out of Earth's sphere of influence on December 1.
Following a 300-day interplanetary phase, the spacecraft will enter the Mars orbit on Sept 24, 2014. The five payloads on the spacecraft will thereafter perform various scientific experiments.
The Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, India's first interplanetary spacecraft, was launched on Nov 5 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh into an elliptical Earth orbit by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in its 25th flight (PSLV-C25).
Quelle: hindustantimes

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Update: 16.11.2013

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Isro gears up for final Mangalyaan orbit-raising move

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The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has geared itself for the fifth orbit raising operation of the Mangalyaan  at 2:27 am on Saturday, the final one in a series of earth-bound manoeuvres before being finally ejected out of the earth’s sphere of influence on December 1.

The apogee(farthest point from earth) after the fifth firing will be increased from 1,18,600 km to 1,92,874 km. The velocity will be increased to 101m/sec.

This will be the final earth bound manoeuvre before the crucial Trans-Mars injection on December 1 for the spacecraft to move out of the sphere of influence of earth towards Mars.

There was a glitch in the fourth orbit raising operation following which a supplementary operation had to be done to raise the apogee.

During the orbit-raising operations conducted since November 7, Isro has been testing and exercising the autonomy functions progressively that are essential for Trans-Mars Injection (TMI) and Mars Orbit Insertion. The spacecraft has to take several rounds around earth to gradually increase its velocity to attain escape velocity with minimum fuel consumption.

Quelle: hindustantimes

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Update: 21.11.2013 

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Mars mission sends it first image of earth

 

The Mars Orbiter Mission, more commonly known as Mangalyaan has send its first image of earth taken by the Mars Colour Camera.
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This image was taken on Tuesday at around 1.50pm from a height of almost 70,000 km above earth and has a spatial resolution of 3.5 km. (Isro Photo)
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"We have a nice little thing to share with all of you... yesterday in the process of testing our payloads we turned the Mars Color Camera towards the Earth and switched it on... and here is the  first ever image of Earth Taken by Mars Color Camera", says the facebook page of Isro Mars Orbiter Mission.
"This image was taken on Tuesday at around 1.50pm from a height of almost 70,000 km above earth and has a spatial resolution of 3.5 km... We are certain we're going to get some great shots in the orbit of Mars," the message reads.
"This is not a planned process and is done as and when it can be. The command is done from our ground station near Bangalore. We hope to take a few more photos before the spacecraft moves out of earth's orbit," said a spokesperson of Isro.
The photo clearly shows India, the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal , the Himalayas and the Indo-Gangetic plain.
The spacecraft will move out of the earth's orbit on December 1 at around 0023 hours. It will then take a 300 days voyage before entering into Mars orbit in September 2014.
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Quelle: hindustantimes

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Update: 26.11.2013 

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Update: 30.11.2013

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Mangalyaan successfully cruising towards Mars as it leaves Earth's orbit

New Delhi India's maiden spacecraft to Mars has successfully left the Earth's orbit and is now cruising towards Mars after a crucial and tricky midnight operation. The complex operation began as planned at 49 minutes after midnight and lasted 23 minutes in which the spacecraft was given a nudge so that it escapes the Earth's gravity.
Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO says the operation went off successfully and the Mangalyaan has left the Earth's embrace and is now on course on the highway to Mars. 

"The trans-Mars injection has been completed successfully," K Radhakrishnan, Chairman of ISRO, told NDTV.

Launched on November 5, 2013 from Sriharikota, the Mangalyaan had till now been rotating around the Earth. It was given that final extra kick through a sling shot mechanism as it began its over 750 million kilometer journey to Mars. Each day, the Mangalyaan will cover over 2.5 million km hurtling into space till it is slowed down to be captured by Mars.

About 250 scientists from ISRO monitored its health. The command for the spacecraft to leave the Earth's orbit and head into the Sun-centric orbit was executed from the Mission Operations Center in Bangalore.

The success of the mission can be assessed only when the spacecraft reaches the Martian orbit on September 24, 2014. Once it reaches Mars, the Mangalyaan will revolve around the 'Red Planet' for six months and announce India's triumph. 

However, the risks are many and no country till date has succeeded in reaching Mars on its maiden attempt. More than half of all missions to Mars have ended in failure, including China's in 2011 and Japan's in 1998.

The Rs. 450-crore mission to Mars has made international headlines, at least in part for its cost-efficiency.

Quelle: New Delhi India's maiden spacecraft to Mars has successfully left the Earth's orbit and is now cruising towards Mars after a crucial and tricky midnight operation. The complex operation began as planned at 49 minutes after midnight and lasted 23 minutes in which the spacecraft was given a nudge so that it escapes the Earth's gravity. (India's mission to Mars: Full coverage)

Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO says the operation went off successfully and the Mangalyaan has left the Earth's embrace and is now on course on the highway to Mars. 

"The trans-Mars injection has been completed successfully," K Radhakrishnan, Chairman of ISRO, told NDTV.

Launched on November 5, 2013 from Sriharikota, the Mangalyaan had till now been rotating around the Earth. It was given that final extra kick through a sling shot mechanism as it began its over 750 million kilometer journey to Mars. Each day, the Mangalyaan will cover over 2.5 million km hurtling into space till it is slowed down to be captured by Mars.

About 250 scientists from ISRO monitored its health. The command for the spacecraft to leave the Earth's orbit and head into the Sun-centric orbit was executed from the Mission Operations Center in Bangalore.

The success of the mission can be assessed only when the spacecraft reaches the Martian orbit on September 24, 2014. Once it reaches Mars, the Mangalyaan will revolve around the 'Red Planet' for six months and announce India's triumph. 

However, the risks are many and no country till date has succeeded in reaching Mars on its maiden attempt. More than half of all missions to Mars have ended in failure, including China's in 2011 and Japan's in 1998.

The Rs. 450-crore mission to Mars has made international headlines, at least in part for its cost-efficiency.

Quelle: NDTV

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Update: 1.12.2013

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Mars Orbiter successfully placed in Mars Transfer Trajectory

Crossing a major milestone in the country's space history, Isro's Mars Orbiter mission in the early hours of Sunday ventured out of Earth's sphere of influence for the first time in an attempt to reach the red planet's orbit.
The critical manoeuvre to place the Mars Orbiter Spacecraft in the Mars Transfer Trajectory was successfully carried out almost an hour past midnight.
During this manoeuvre, which began at 00:49 hours, the spacecraft's 440 Newton liquid engine was fired for about 22 minutes providing a velocity increment of 648 metres/second to the spacecraft.
"Trans Mars Injection (TMI) operations has been completed successfully. The liquid engine burn time was 1328.89 sec and the imparted incremental velocity was 647.96 m/sec," Isro said.
"Following the completion of this manoeuvre, the Earth orbiting phase of the spacecraft ended. The spacecraft is now on a course to encounter Mars after a journey of about 10 months around the Sun," the Bangalore-headquartered Indian Space Research Organization said in a statement.
Isro performed the trans-Mars injection, a "crucial event" intended for hurling its Mars Orbiter spacecraft into the planned orbit around the Sun, marking the first step towards the 300 day voyage to reach the orbit of the red planet after crossing roughly 680 million kilometer.
Isro has planned four mid-course corrections in case of any deviation along its path to the Martian orbit.
The space agency is scheduled to make four corrections in the course of the spacecraft's voyage to Mars before it is expected to reach the orbit of the red planet in September 2014.
It had performed five orbit-raising manoeuvres on its Mars Orbiter, raising the apogee (farthest point from Earth) of the spacecraft to over 1.92 lakh kilometers, before it performed the "mother of all slingshots."
The spacecraft has been in the Earth bound orbits with different apogees since its launch on November 5 from Sriharikota.
There are five payloads on the spacecraft which will carry out scientific experiments.
Quelle: HindustanTimes

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Mars orbiter sent into sun-centric orbit

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Indian Space Research Organization scientists and engineers monitor the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) at the ISTRAC Mission Operations Complex (MOX) tracking centre, at Peenya in Bangalore.

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CHENNAI, DECEMBER 1, 2013:  
India’s spacecraft to Mars has bid adieu to its Earth-bound orbit and is cruising in its sun-centric orbit. In a remarkably successful execution of a complex manoeuvre, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) fired the propulsion system on board the spacecraft for a prolonged duration of 23 minutes from 0049 hours on Sunday.
In space parlance, the manoeuvre is called Trans-Mars Injection (TMI). ISRO called it “the mother of all slingshots.” Celebrations broke out at the control centre of the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bangalore from where the spacecraft specialists gave commands for the orbiter’s 440 Newton engine to begin firing.
ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan, told The Hindu from ISTRAC, “Everything went of well. We took stock of the spacecraft’s health and everything is normal. We just had a meeting with all the ground controllers and mission directors who briefed us on the spacecraft’s systems and all are working well.”
M. Annadurai, Programme Director, Indian Remotesensing Satellites and Small Satellites, ISRO, said “everything was normal during the firing, which went on as per the planned timeline.” He added that there was jubilation in the ISTRAC control room with scientists distributing sweets.
“We had exciting moments and a satisfying day,” said S. Arunan, Project Director, Mars Orbiter. “The sun-centric phase has started and the Canberra station has started acquiring the spacecraft for tracking it.” Deviprasad Karnik, ISRO spokesman, said the spacecrafts propulsion system produced a textbook performance.
Quelle: BusinessLine

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Mars Orbiter Spacecraft Successfully placed in Mars Transfer Trajectory
The critical manoeuvre to place India's Mars Orbiter Spacecraft in the Mars Transfer Trajectory was successfully carried out in the early hours of today (Sunday, December 1, 2013). During this manoeuvre, which began at 00:49 today, the spacecraft's 440 Newton liquid engine was fired for about 22 minutes providing a velocity increment of 648 meters/second to the spacecraft. Following the completion of this manoeuvre, the Earth orbiting phase of the spacecraft ended. The spacecraft is now on a course to encounter Mars after a journey of about 10 months around the Sun. 
It may be recalled that Mars Orbiter spacecraft was launched into an elliptical parking orbit with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 248 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 23,550 km by India's workhorse launch vehicle PSLV on November 5, 2013. Following this, the apogee height of the spacecraft's orbit was successively raised through a series of manoeuvres to nearly 1,93,000 km. Besides, health checks of the Mars Orbiter spacecraft as well as its payloads were performed. Since its launch, all systems on-board Mars Orbiter spacecraft are performing normally. 
The spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Spacecraft Control Centre at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennae at Byalalu.
Quelle: ISRO

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Update: 11.12.2013

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India's Mars mission: First trajectory correction carried out successfully today

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists on Wednesday said that the first trajectory correction manoeuvre of the maiden interplanetary mission to Mars had been carried out successfully. 
ISRO scientists said that the manoeuvre was effected at 6.30 a.m. this morning. 
They said that Mangalyaan is currently travelling some 29 lakh kilomters away from Earth. 
The correction was done to fine tune the trajectory path of the spacecraft to keep it travelling in the intended track towards Mars, they added. 
The spacecraft had moved out of the Earth’s orbit on December 1. ISRO has planned four trajectory correction manoeuvres for Mangalyaan on its journey to Mars. The manoeuvres are needed to keep the spacecraft on the required path. 
It is also essential for maintaining the required velocity. Mangalyaan is on a 680-million-kilometer voyage to Mars. It was launched on November 5. The spacecraft is expected to reach the Mars orbit by September 24, 2014.
Quelle: INDIA TODAY
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HYDERABAD: The first trajectory correction manoeuvre (TCM) of Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) was completed successfully on Tuesday.
The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) would first roll over to achieve the right orientation necessary for carrying out the TCM. MOM will then command the 22 N Thrusters on board to fire for about 44 seconds and attain the necessary incremental velocity.
After the firing, MOM will roll back to an optimal orientation which ensures continuous communication with Earth, uninterrupted power generation and proper solar heating.
"Since MOM is about 2.9 million km away from Earth, the amount of time required for the signal to go and come back is 20 seconds. Hence the entire operation is managed by the onboard computer. The first crucial TCM is scheduled for 6.30am on Wednesday and we will be able to bring you the 'real time' update with a transit delay of 10 seconds," ISRO had said.
Scientists said the mission's plan to handle even the maximum Earth to Mars round-trip light time delay of 42 minutes was in place. "The spacecraft is equipped with autonomy features that will safeguard the spacecraft, when micromanaging the mission from Earth is not feasible due to communication delays. MOM team is gaining hands-on experience in handling the communication delay as it keeps increasing gradually," scientists said responding to queries from 'MOM watchers.'
"After the Trans-Mars Injection, MOM navigators spent days ranging and measuring the velocity of the spacecraft and precisely determined its flight path. Based on this, the firing duration and delta-v has been calculated which will correct the deviations before they have a chance to grow large. During the TCM, accelerometers on board MOM gives the information when the desired delta-v is achieved," scientists said.
Quelle: THE TIMES OF INDIA
 
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Update: 19.12.2013
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Mars Orbiter has spent 55 per cent fuel on 60 lakh km of travel so far
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ISRO's Mars Orbiter that is currently at a distance of 60 lakh kilometers from Earth has so far burnt about 55 per cent of the 850 kilograms of fuel it is carrying.

"We have already spent 470 kilogram of the bio-propellant we are carrying. We have however, not overspent, in spite of the glitch that we encountered during the fourth burn (while circling the earth). We are well within the nominal limit of spending," said A S Kiran Kumar, a senior scientist working on the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) and director of the city-based Space Application Centre (SAC), an arm of ISRO.

Instead of the scheduled five burns, the orbiter had to conduct six earth burns before the Trans-Mars Injection phase.

"This is a mission where we are using the minimal energy possible. The next round of fuel will be burnt in the Trajectory Correction Maneuvers (TCM) that will be undertaken in the months of April and August 2014. About 200 kg of fuel will be burnt in 28 minutes on September 24, 2014, during the Mars Orbit Injection phase," said Kiran Kumar while talking about the mission on the sideline

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