Feeds

Economical Indian MOM whips up her eggs en route to Mars

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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.