Feeds

Economical Indian MOM whips up her eggs en route to Mars

No need for panic, an eggcentric orbit is in the mission plan

The Power of One Infographic

India's Space Research Organisation has announced things have gone egg-shaped for its Mangalyaan Mars probe, and that's a good thing.

Mangalyaan, aka Mars Orbiter Mission or MOM, has been cobbled together for just $US74m and one consequence of that small budget is a penny-pinching plan to pinch some of Earth's energy by making close approaches to our home helped along by six engine burns designed to push it into orbits with ever-greater apogees. The second such burn took place without incident today and the craft is now in one of the egg-shaped orbits depicted below at an apogee of 40,186km.

The orbital trajectory of India's Mangalyaan Mars probe

The planned orbital trajectory of India's Mangalyaan Mars probe

After the sixth such burn Mangalyaan should reach 918,347km from Earth, a point at which its momentum will allow it to leave our gravity well and head in the direction of Mars.

That final moment of release isn't due until December 1st. Before then Mangalyaan has another four burns to make before setting sail for the temporary home of Valentine Michael Smith*. The probe is due to arrive in September 2014, at which point it will unfurl five instruments in an attempt to learn more about Mars and especially the composition of its atmosphere. ®

* Let's see what response this reference gets, shall we?

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.