Mars mission is one step closer to blasting off

  • Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times, Sriharikota
  • Updated: Nov 01, 2013 11:52 IST

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) had a launch rehearsal for its ambitious Rs 450-crore Mars Mission on Thursday where the entire procedure of the final stages of the nearly eight-and-a-half hours countdown leading to the take-off was simulated.

The 56-hours-30-minutes countdown for the launch will start at 6.08am on November 3. Soon after, the propellants will be filled in the spacecraft. However, the launch authorisation board will meet here on November 1 to give the final clearance for the launch prior to this procedure.

The spacecraft is slated for a take-off at 1436 hours on November 5. The PSLV-XL will carry the 1337 kg Mars Orbiter Satellite into a 230km x23500km elliptical orbit

"Everything went smoothly. Now, we are preparing for the countdown which begins on November 3. Except for the ignite button, all other procedures were checked on the rehearsal day. All vehicle systems were powered up and the health of the systems were found to be normal," says P Kunhikrishnan, project director of PSLV, said.

The spacecraft will move out of the Earth's sphere of influence on December 1 at 0042 hours and will enter into the heliocentric (sun-centric) orbit.

It will remain here for 300 days and will finally enter the Martian orbit on September 24, 2014.

The spacecraft will carry five payloads, including one for measuring methane.

They will carry out different scientific and technological experiments once the spacecraft enters the Martian orbit.

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