Featured Image (Credits ISRO)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

ISRO Mars Mission: Challenges

ISRO Mars Orbiter replica

Following challenges will be faced by ISRO in its ambitious Mars mission planned to be launched in October 2013

  • Radiation shielding: ISRO has learnt lessons from the untimely demise of its Chandrayaan-1 mission due to extreme radiation and thermal issues. In the Mars mission, the orbiter  will have to face prolonged radiation in the Van Allen belt. This necessitates augmented  radiation shielding for the orbiter. 
  • In-built autonomy: Due to the large distance of 55-400 million km between Earth and Mars, the is a one way communication delay of 20 minutes. This necessitates high order of autonomy in-built within Mars orbiter.
  • Robust and reliable subsystems: Mars orbiter will take 300 days to reach the Mars where its subsystems will be switched on again. This demands robust and reliable subsystems design for the success of the mission. Particularly, propulsion system that will have to work again after 300 days of journey to Mars.
  • Mars orbit capture: Mars orbit insertion is the most critical part of the mission that will decide its success. 
A successful Mars mission will impart ISRO with expertise in propulsion, communication and control required for deep space exploration. 

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