Mars mission gets October, 2013 launch date deadline as India reaches out to the stars
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Among the payloads for the mission is the Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser which would study the Martian atmosphere and a Methane Sensor to look for of the gas, considered as a signature for life, on the planet.
"We want to know whether the source of methane is thermogenic or biogenic," he said.
The Thermal Infrared Imaging System would take pictures of the planet during the night. A key challenge before the scientists is navigating the spacecraft from the earth to Mars in deep space using the Deep Space Network at Baylalu on the outskirts of Bangalore.
Another challenge would be to re-activate the temporary inactive sub-systems of the spacecraft once it reaches Mars after a 10-month journey through deep space.
The liquid rocket engine, capable of generating a 440 Newton thrust, would be required to steer the spacecraft into the Martian orbit.
The spacecraft will have bi-propellant system using monomethylhydrazine and di-nitrogen tetroxide as fuel with additional safety and redundancy features for Mars orbit insertion.
The spacecraft, with a 1350 kg lift-off mass, will have a single solar array with three panels of 1400 x 1800 mm capable of generating 750 watts of power in the Martian orbit.
It will also be equipped with a 36 AH Lithium-ion battery for power storage.
For attitude and orbit control, the spacecraft will be equipped with four reaction wheels, eight thrusters of 22 Newton each and a 440 Newton liquid rocket engine.
The Mars mission will propel India to the elite club of five nations comprising the US, Russia, Europe, China and Japan which have launched similar missions.
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