Blog Archives

What’s Up for February 2016

Death Of The Sun – Documentary

Autumn Equinox 2014

Successful Test Firing of Main Liquid Engine- Press Release from ISRO

ISRO Chairman Dr.K.Radhakrishnan with Former Chairmen Prof.U.R.Rao and Dr. K.Kasturirangan watching the LAM test firing operation from the Space control centre.

ISRO Chairman Dr.K.Radhakrishnan with Former Chairmen Prof.U.R.Rao and Dr. K.Kasturirangan watching the LAM test firing operation from the spacecraft control centre.

The 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) of India’s Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, last fired on December 01, 2013, was successfully fired for a duration of 3.968 seconds at 1430 hrs IST today (September 22, 2014). This operation of the spacecraft’s main liquid engine was also used for the spacecraft’s trajectory correction and changed its velocity by 2.18 metre/second. With this successful test firing, Mars Orbiter Insertion (MOI) operation of the spacecraft is scheduled to be performed on the morning of September 24, 2014 at 07:17:32 hrs IST by firing the LAM along with eight smaller liquid engines for a duration of about 24 minutes.

Why are MAVEN and Mars Orbiter Mission taking such different paths to Mars? | The Planetary Society

Many of you may be wondering how the MOM and MAVEN missions to Mars are different. If you had questions like I had about this please follow the link below to the Planetary Society Blog where Planetary Scientist Emily Lakdawalla explains the difference very clearly along with the “Basics of Space Flight” by David Doody .  It is a very good online resource for knowing about Space flight. You can also download the book Basics of Space Flight and read it.

Why are MAVEN and Mars Orbiter Mission taking such different paths to Mars? | The Planetary Society.

Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI) of Mars Orbiter Spacecraft is scheduled on September 24, 2014

The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) of ISRO is entering a crucial phase on the 24th of September 2014 when the Spacecraft will be inserted into the orbit of Mars after travelling 653 Million Kilometers. Just to remind you:

  • PSLV C25 launched the Mars orbiter into an orbit of 250 km X 23,550 km around Earth on 5th November, 2013.
  • Six Earth Bound manoeuvers were carried out on 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th, 12th and 16th Nov. 2013.
  • Trans Mars Injection was carried out on Dec 1, 2013 at 00:49 hrs IST.
  • The spacecraft left the Sphere Of Influence of Earth on 4th December, 2013
  • The health of the spacecraft and the payloads is normal


The status of MOM today:

  • Distance between Earth and MOM – 215 Million kms
  • One way communication delay – 718 seconds (~ 12 min.)
  • Distance covered on the Heliocentric path – 653 Million kms
  • Distance to travel in Heliocentric path to Mars – 13 Million km
  • Percentage of the journey covered – 98 %
  • Distance between Mars and MOM – 2.496 Million km

Read the  press briefing on MOI by the Scientific Secretary of ISRO which clearly explains in a nutshell how this works.

Documentary-Extreme Orbits: How the Universe Works

In this Documentary you will understand the importance of Orbits of heavenly bodies and the speciality of Earth’s Orbit.

Curiosity Rover Report: We made it! Curiosity reaches Mount Sharp (Sept 11, 2014)

After 2 years and nearly 9 kilometers of driving, NASA’s Mars Curiosity has arrived at the base of Mount Sharp to begin a whole new phase of exploration.

Cassini Saturn Arrival-The 10th Anniversary of Cassini

On June 30, 2004 (PDT), as mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory held their collective breath, the international Cassini-Huygens mission successfully arrived in orbit around Saturn. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft delivered the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe to Titan in early 2005. Cassini completed its four-year primary mission in 2008 and went on to perform dozens more flybys of Titan, Enceladus and Saturn’s other icy moons through its 10th anniversary in 2014. The mission may continue through 2017.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Eyes on the Sky: All about the Harvest Moon ( 8th to 14th September )

The Harvest Moon has some interesting aspects to it; how it rises differently from other full Moons, and how we often perceive it as it rises. Learn about that and more as Dave shares insight into this “Super Moon” visible as a Harvest Moon, and why the size isn’t quite what it seems (even if it’s “super” this month). See what’s up in the night sky every week with “Eyes on the Sky” videos, astronomy made easy.

Welcome to Mars- A Documentary from PBS

“Welcome to Mars” follows the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity from the second they crash-land on the planet to many months into their ongoing mission. NOVA producer Mark Davis covered the story from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as it unfolded and provided a unique, behind-the-scenes take on this voyage of discovery, whose primary goal is to find evidence that liquid water once existed on Mars.

A special documentary film on Mars Orbiter Mission

This video is from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting:

Mars Orbiter Mission was launched on the 5th of November at 14:38 pm from SDHC, SHAR, Sriharikota. This is India’s first interplanetary mission to planet Mars with an orbiter craft designed to orbit Mars in an elliptical orbit. The Mission is primarily a technological mission considering the critical mission operations and stringent requirements on propulsion and other bus systems of spacecraft. One of the main objectives of the first Indian mission to Mars is to develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission.

Following are the major objectives of the mission:

A. Technological Objectives:
Design and realisation of a Mars orbiter with a capability to survive and perform Earth bound manoeuvres, cruise phase of 300 days, Mars orbit insertion / capture, and on-orbit phase around Mars.
Deep space communication, navigation, mission planning and management.
Incorporate autonomous features to handle contingency situations.

B. Scientific Objectives:
Exploration of Mars surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian atmosphere by indigenous scientific instruments.

27th August- The false information being spread on social media

Today one of our staff at school  came up to me and asked me about the 27th of August when there will be two full moons in the sky. He had got this information circulating on ‘whatsapp’ . The rumour has it that one of the planets  viz., Mars  will appear as big as the moon and as if it were another moon.  First of all for those of you who have taken this news seriously  please note there is going to be only a thin crescent moon in the sky on that night. This is a Hoax –Do not Believe this news and waste your time on the 27th. Mars can never ever appear as large as a full moon as seen from Earth. The moon is much closer than Mars which appears like a red starlike point and is much further away from Earth.


The Rosetta Mission Asks: What is a Comet?

In response to one of my posts earlier on the Rosetta Mission, some of you had asked me why should we study a comet. In this Video from JPL, scientists tell you why.

Documentary on Jupiter and NASA’s Juno probe

Mission Juno – A great documentary on Jupiter and NASA’s Juno probe arriving at the gas giant in 2016. Will answer many of your questions on Jupiter.