'Thunderstorm in South Africa Delayed MOM Tracking for 5 Minutes' - The New Indian Express

'Thunderstorm in South Africa Delayed MOM Tracking for 5 Minutes'

Published: 03rd December 2013 01:37 PM

Last Updated: 03rd December 2013 01:37 PM

Two days after successfully injecting its Mars Orbiter into trans-Mars trajectory, ISRO   vealed that a thunderstorm in South Africa, which struck above a ground station identified to track the "crucial moment" had resulted in a five minute delay in following the  Indian mission.

"Seconds before the firing of the liquid engine for the crucial Trans-Mars injection on  Sunday, a thunderstorm struck the Hartebeesthoek (HBK) ground station in South Africa,  which was identified for monitoring this operation," ISRO said in its official and interactive social networking page.

"This resulted in a data loss, leading to a five minute delay in the confirmation of firing.  he on board computer dexterously handled the operations as planned and the liquid engine too performed flawlessly injecting India into interplanetary space," the facebook  age, which is a big hit among space enthusiasts, said last night.

ISRO's Mars Orbiter, which was placed in inter-Mars trajectory in the early hours on  Sunday, has crossed Moon's orbit of around 3.8 lakh km and is travelling beyond Earth's natural satellite and had travelled a total distance of over 5.36 lakh km as of 5 p.m. yesterday.

The Mars Orbiter Mission had ventured out of Earth's sphere of influence, beginning its  00-day journey to the Red planet, marking a major milestone in India's space history.      

ISRO performed the trans-Mars injection, a 'crucial event' intended to hurl its Mars  Orbiter spacecraft into the planned orbit around the sun at around 00.49 hours on Sunday.

It has planned four mid-course corrections in case of any deviation along its path to the Martian orbit before its expected arrival in the orbit of the Red planet in Sept 2014.

It had performed five orbit-raising manoeuvres on its Mars Orbiter, raising the Apogee  farthest point from Earth) of the spacecraft to over 1.92 lakh km before it performed the 'mother of all slingshots.'

The spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Spacecraft Control Centre at  SRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore with support  rom Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennae at Byalalu.

ISRO's PSLV C 25 injected the 1,350-kg 'Mangalyaan' Orbiter into orbit around Earth  bout 44 minutes after launch at 2.38 p.m. from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at  Sriharikota on November 5, marking the successful completion of the first stage of the Rs 450-crore mission.

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