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Mangalyaan to slip into communication blackout from Monday

India's successful Mars Orbiter Mission will be tested when the satellite will enter the "blackout" phase from June 8 to 22. Officials express confidence in the "autonomous" functioning of Mangalyaan.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2015 11:05 IST
Vanita Srivastava
Vanita Srivastava
Hindustan Times

India's maiden spacecraft to Mars- Mangalyaan will become incommunicado with the scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) for a fortnight from June 8 to 22.

The blackout will happen because the Sun will come between Earth and Mars.

"Such a long communication break will happen for the first time. But all simulation tests have been done and we are confident of handling the situation," Isro chairman Dr Kiran Kumar told HT. " During the blackout period the spacecraft will be in fully autonomous mode and there will be no transmission of data or signals to or from it."

Maintaining that all preparatory work had been done to meet the challenge he said,"Partial operations have already stopped. The satellite is in good health, all the five payloads are functioning well and we do no anticipate any major problem."

Dr Kumar said that the exact position on how long the spacecraft could continue to orbit around Mars would be known once it comes out of this eclipse. "We are collecting data from the spacecraft and the data is being analysed for scientific study. This will be made public once the analysis is completed."

According to official sources, the spacecraft has so far send around 200 images and photos of which some have been published on the social media site of Isro.

On September 24 last year, India created history by becoming the first country to succeed on its first Mars mission when the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) slipped into the orbit of the Red Planet after a few nail-biting moments.

The country joined the United States, European Space Agency and the former Soviet Union in the elite club of Martian explorers with the MOM. The five payloads on the spacecraft were scheduled to carry out experiments for six months.

First Published: Jun 07, 2015 22:35 IST