India’s Mars Orbiter Mission faced its first test at around 2.30 p.m. today when the main liquid engine of the spacecraft was successfully fired for about four seconds.
The aim behind the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO’s) mission is to place the Mars Orbiter in the orbit of Mars to study Methane gas emissions from the planet.
“Mars mission for India if is basically a mission which will put our MOM (Mars Orbiter Mission) which will place the mars orbiter into the orbit of Mars to study the Methane gases emission which are coming from the planet and we are able to place Mars Orbiter Mission into the orbit of Mars on September 24 then it will be a great achievement for India as it will be the first time in the history that any country will do it at the first attempt,” said C B Devgan, a scientist.
He also said this is the first inter planetary mission for India, and if it is done, then the country will actually achieve success in the fields of science and technology.
“Technologically, we will be able to test that we can create something and go towards a planet and then place that object into the orbit of that planet and then try to observe the planet. And scientifically, we are able to measure things or the gases coming from Mars like Methane, which is released by any life giving substance,” he added.
He further said that measuring the amount of Methane across Mars will be a very good observation and will help to establish future colonies, and for that, they are trying to land something on Mars.
However, highlighting the difficulties being faced during the mission, Devgan said, “It’s very difficult, when we are reaching mars through this space craft it is travelling at such a high speed of around 80000-90000 kilometers per hour which is very fast and we are trying to enter the orbit of the Mars so for that we need to de accelerate or we try to break our vehicle so that we are in line with that thing. So that is the difficult part and this is what we are trying to do on September 24.”
“On September 24, we’ll fire the engine in the opposite direction so that its equivalent to a breaking in normal wave and that engine which is not being fired for the last 300 days so there is a possibility that it may or may not fire, so we are just working on that and today we’ll try to fire that engine for a very short time just to check whether it is working or not,” Devgan added.
The ISRO scientists had last week loaded the commands to test if the engine is in good shape or not.
Earlier this month, the spacecraft authorization committee had decided to carry out the four-second test to ensure that the long duration of idling has not affected the engine that carries corrosive fuel.
The 440 Newton liquid engine was last fired on December 1 this month. The scientists are monitoring the Mars Orbiter Mission at the ISRO’s Telemetry Tracking and Command Network in Bangalore.