Mars mission is 100 per cent safe: ISRO

Mars mission is 100 per cent safe: ISRO

NEW DELHI: India's maiden mission to Mars hit has hit its first hurdle as the vehicle failed to raise its orbit from 71,623 km to 100,000 km as flow to the liquid engine stopped when when both primary and redundant coils were energised together.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said a supplementary orbit-raising operation is planned for November 12 at 5:00 am to raise the apogee to nearly 1 lakh km.

ISRO also said that the spacecraft is in normal health.

The vehicle failed to meet the objective of the fourth orbit-raising operation from 71,623 km to 1 lakh km as it could only achieve 78,276 km by imparting an incremental velocity of 35 metres/second as against the 130 metres/second originally planned.

An ISRO spokeperson speaking to IBN-Live, said: 'The spacecraft is in normal health. There is no concern at all. There is no problem at all in the system. Mars mission is 100 per cent safe.'

ISRO said: 'During the first three orbit-raising operations, the prime and redundant chains of gyros, accelerometers, 22 Newton attitude control thrusters, attitude and orbit control electronics as well as the associated logics for their fault detection isolation, and reconfiguration have been exercised successfully.'

India on November 5, launched its first rocket to the red planet, aiming to reach the red planet at a much lower cost than successful missions by other nations.

Probes to Mars have a high failure rate and a success would be a boost for Indian national pride, especially after a similar mission by China failed to leave Earth's orbit in 2011.

Only the United States, Europe, and Russia have sent probes that have orbited or landed on the planet.

ISRO designed the craft to go around Earth six or seven times to build up the momentum needed to slingshot it to Mars, a measure that will help it save fuel.

India's space programme began 50 years ago and developed rapidly after Western powers imposed sanctions in response to a nuclear weapons test in 1974, spurring its scientists to build advanced rocket technology. Five years ago, its Chandrayaan satellite found evidence of water on the moon.