India’s Mars Orbiter (MOM) mission may have finally reached the end of its operations after eight years orbiting the Red Planet.
Ground stations operated by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Lost contact with the spacecraft. The exact cause is not yet clear. The orbiter may have run out of fuel, the MOM battery may have run out beyond its safe operating limit, or an automated maneuver may have cut communications, according to media reports.
After I worked in Mars For eight years, MOM – also called Mangalyaan – has exceeded its expected mission life by only six to 10 months. The rover was launched in November 2013 and entered orbit around Mars in September 2014.
Although the Islamic Organization for Space Research has not yet issued an official statement, an acting source told a local newspaper Hindus That the “satellite battery” is exhausted and the link with MOM is “lost”.
MOM carries a 4.6-by-6-foot (1.4 by 1.8-meter) solar array wing consisting of three panels mounted on one side of the spacecraft. The array can generate 800 watts of power at Mars and charge a lithium-ion battery, but the spacecraft recently faced a series of eclipses that could affect its ability to recharge.
“Recently, there have been consecutive eclipses, including one that lasted seven and a half hours,” said an unnamed ISRO source. Hindus.
Another unnamed official told the newspaper, “Since the satellite’s battery is designed to handle an eclipse’s duration of only about 1 hour and 40 minutes, a longer eclipse will drain the battery beyond the safe limit.”
My mom had just come out of a long eclipse in April, but as he recovered, the spacecraft may have used up what was left of its fuel. At launch, the MOM carried about 1,880 pounds (852 kilograms) of fuel to power the main propulsion engine and eight smaller thrusts used to control altitude.
There’s also a possibility that the communications failure was a result of the automated MOM system getting it out of another eclipse, according to an unnamed official comments at Times of India. The system may have caused the orbiter to make a circular rotation to change direction, pointing the Earth-facing MOM antenna away from our planet and the spacecraft falling into silence.
MOM previously survived blackouts during its first and second years around Mars, and recovered completely independently without help from Earth. Initial indications are that this new blackout is permanent, however, multiple sources have told The Times of India that whatever the cause, the spacecraft will not be able to recover.
“We are now trying to ascertain the exact cause – whether that is fuel exhaustion or the antenna not being able to communicate,” an unnamed senior scientist told the Times of India. “But one thing is for sure, we won’t be able to get the spacecraft back anymore.”
MOM was India’s first interplanetary mission and made ISRO only the fourth space agency to achieve orbit around the Red Planet. The spacecraft reached Mars just in time to catch up comet spring siding On October 19, 2014.
The mission’s primary objective was to test the technology needed for interplanetary exploration and to use its instruments to study the Martian surface and atmosphere from orbit.
Onboard instruments included a color camera, a thermal infrared sensor, an ultraviolet spectrometer used to study deuterium and hydrogen in Mars’ upper atmosphere, and a mass spectrometer to study neutral particles in the outer layers of Mars’ surface. Mars atmosphere.
MOM also carried a sensor designed to search for methane, a molecule that, if present, could indicate that life once existed on the Red Planet. ISRO has not yet disclosed the results of that tool.