Keeping their fingers crossed, ISRO scientists in Bangalore test-fired Mangalyaan’s liquid engine hoping the main engine on Monday successfully so the dormant main liquid engine wakes up from its 10-month hiatus and thrusts into the orbit of Mars as pre-destined. There will be eight thrusters, which will be fired to make the spacecraft enter the red planet’s atmosphere on September 24.
ISRO tweeted, "Mars Orbiter engine test firing must have completed. We’ll get a confirmation after the communication delay of 12 minutes." And it was followed by another tweet that said: "Mars Orbiter main liquid engine test firing successful." The engine was test fired for 3.968 seconds using fuel worth 0.567 kg and with a decremental velocity of 2.142 meters/second.
"This test firing of the LAM engine is like a trial, which is going to be fired for a longer duration on September 24 for Mars Orbit Insertion," a top ranking ISRO official todl the media.
The Mars Orbiter Mission, India’s first interplanetary mission launched on November 5, 2013 by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, entered today into Mars sphere of influence.
The exercise began at 2:30pm when the craft’s 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor engine, which has been idle for 300 days, was fired up for four seconds. Now that the engine has passed the crucial test, two days later on September 24 it will be put in action along with eight thrusters to slow down so it can be injected into a safe Mars synchronous orbit.
India is the fourth after US, Russia and Europe to reach the Red planet and the mission’s five payloads will begin taking photos and collecting data for the next six months. India’s achievement surpasses many other nations. Of the 51 missions sent so far, 21 have been successful amd even China failed in its Mars mission in 2011.