India successfully test fires Mars Orbiter's main liquid engine
The crucial Mars orbiter liquid engine test firing which was important in determining the fate of Mars Orbiter mission has been successful, as confirmed by ISRO.
Zee Media Bureau/Ritu Singh
Bangalore: The Mars orbiter liquid engine test firing which was crucial in determining the fate of Mars Orbiter mission has been successful, as confirmed by ISRO.
After igniting the engine, ISRO tweeted, "Mars Orbiter engine test firing must have completed. We'll get a confirmation after the communication delay of 12 minutes." A few minutes later, it tweeted the following:
India's Mars Orbiter Mission tested its last manoeuvre around 2.30pm Monday when the main liquid engine of the spacecraft was fired for 4 seconds. The craft’s 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor engine which had been idle for 300 days since the spacecraft left the Earth's orbit on a Martian trajectory on December 1, 2013, had a perfect burn for four seconds as planned.
The engine was test fired for 3.968 seconds with fuel consumption of about 0.567 kg and with a decremental velocity of 2.142 meters/second. The test was to make sure that the engine is in good shape for the 24-minute manoeuvre on Wednesday.
With this success, ISRO now gears up for the D-day, 24th September. With the engine firing confirmed, MOM can now go ahead with their plan for the Mars orbit insertion without any hurdle.
The Rs.450-crore ($70 million) ambitious mission was launched Nov 5, 2013 on board a polar rocket from spaceport Sriharikota off Bay of Bengal, about 80 km northeast of Chennai.
"India will be the first country in the world to insert a spacecraft into the Martian orbit in a maiden attempt if the operation succeeds," ISRO Scientific Secretary V. Koteshwara Rao claimed.