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Isro's launch rehearsal of Mars mission today

india Updated: Oct 31, 2013 12:19 IST
Vanita Srivastava
Indian Space Research Organsiation

The Indian Space Research Organsiation (Isro) will carry out a launch rehearsal of the Mars mission on Thursday, where conditions like that of the actual launch will be simulated, Isro chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan has said.

The launch is slated for November 5 at 1438 hours. There is only a five minute launch window on this day.

"During the rehearsal, the mobile service tower that is surrounding the spacecraft will move back by 150 mts just like it is do on the actual launch date on November 5. There will be checking at different stage and the health of the entire system will be closely monitored."

After the launch rehearsal, the countdown will begin on November 3 at 6.08am.

"The total countdown time is 56.30 hours. As compared to the previous flights the flight duration this time will be more around 43 minutes. Generally on an average the flight duration is around 20 mts. This has been necessitated because of the long coasting before the ignition of the PS4 stage."

On November 6, after the launch the scientists will do a rehearsal of the first orbit raising operation.

Finally on November 7, the first orbit raising will be done and the apogee (the point in the orbit of an object that is at the greatest distance from the center of the earth) will be raised to 28,790 km.

After a series of orbit raising operations, the next critical event, he said would be at 12:42am on December 1, 2013 when after the Trans Maritan injection, the orbiter will move from the earth's orbit to the orbit of Mars.

"After moving out of the earth's sphere of influence the spacecraft will be in an elliptical interplanetary cruise trajectory around the sun for the planned transfer time after which it has its rendezvous with Mars. This will happen on September 24, 2014. Once this is successfully done, we will do our scientific experiments."

This will be the 25th launch of PSLV and all efforts would be made to minimize the energy transfer.

Maintaining that Isro was not in a race with China or any other country in space programme he said: "Each country has its own priorities. We are focused more on space application."

Out of the 51 mission to Mars, across the world, only 21 have been successful.

Failures were mainly due to problems during launch, propulsion problems and even communication failures.