New Delhi, Oct 31 – India will carry out a launch drill today of the probe that plans to send to Mars on November 5, executives of the Space Research Organization (ISRO) confirmed.
The drill will simulate all the maneuvers that will be executed in the eight hours prior to the launch of the probe, after which the system will shut down, noted P. Kunhikrishnan, who is charge of the propulsion rocket.
If all goes as expected, a 56-hour-30-minutes countdown will be set in motion, so the probe launch would take place on November 5 at 14:38 (local time).
Today´s maneuver will test the ISRO-produced most powerful version of India’s workhorse rocket, named the PSLV-C25.
ISRO President K. Radhakrishnan underlined India´s first attempt to study Mars will be the most profitable of those carried out so far since it only cost nearly 80 million USD.
Of the 51 missions to Mars, mainly carried out by the United States, Russia and the European Union, the success rate has been bellow 50 percent, K. Radhakrishnan recalled.
Although November 5 is the date set to launch the orbiter, India can extend the period for the action until November 19, since this is an opportunity that only arises every 780 days.
During that time, the Earth, Mars and the Sun have a 44-degree angle, which allows spacecrafts to reach Mars using a minimum of energy.
If the operation does not succeed now, it would have to be postponed until January 2016 or May 2018.
Source: Prensa Latina