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Mars mission will last for many years, says ISRO


Bengaluru: As it prepares to celebrate the first anniversary of its spacecraft’s tryst with Mars, ISRO today said the mission to the Red Planet will last for “many years” as there is not much of a “problem” and they have not had any failures so far.

“Mars (mission) is expected to last for many years now, because it has gone through solar conjunction also; so we don’t see much of a problem,” ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar told reporters here.

“We had planned it only for six months. Then we were not expecting so much fuel to remain after we completed our insertion activity,” he said.

Pointing out that about 35kg of fuel was still left, he said, “There is still a lot of fuel… all other subsystems are working fine and so far we have not had any failures.”

Kiran Kumar was speaking on the sidelines of Prof Satish Dhawan Commemoration Lecture that was delivered by Dr K Radhakrishnan, a former chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The event was organised by the Institution of Engineers (India)’s Karnataka state centre here.

Scripting space history, India on September 24, 2014, had successfully placed its low-cost Mars spacecraft in orbit around the Red Planet on its very first attempt, breaking into an elite club of three nations.

ISRO will mark the first anniversary of Mars Orbit Insertion by releasing an atlas containing photos taken by the colour camera on board the spacecraft.

“Currently, on September 24, we will be releasing one of the atlases — the on taking images of Mars Colour Camera and also some results from the Methane Sensor…. then, on November 5, we are bringing out a book, ‘Fishing hamlet to Mars’,” Kiran Kumar said.

ISRO had launched the spacecraft on its nine-month-long odyssey on a homegrown PSLV rocket from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on November 5, 2013, and it had escaped the earth’s gravitational field on December 1, 2013.

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