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India loses contact with Mars orbiter: reports - Space.com

India loses contact with Mars orbiter: reports - Space.com

India loses contact with Mars orbiter: reports - Space.com
Oct 03, 2022 1 min, 18 secs

India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) may have finally reached the end of its operations after eight years spent orbiting the Red Planet.

Ground stations operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have lost communication with the spacecraft.

Having operated at Mars for eight years, MOM — also called Mangalyaan — has far exceeded its expected mission life of just six to 10 months.

Although ISRO has not yet released an official statement, a source with the agency told local newspaper The Hindu that "the satellite battery" has drained and "the link has been lost" with MOM.

The array can generate 800 watts power at Mars and charges a lithium-ion battery, but the spacecraft has recently encountered a series of eclipses that could have impacted its ability to recharge. .

The system may have had the orbiter perform a roll-spin to change direction, resulting in MOM's Earth-facing antenna pointing away from our planet and the spacecraft falling silent.

Initial indications suggest that this new blackout is permanent, however, and multiple sources told the Times of India that whatever the cause, the spacecraft won't be able to recover.

"Now, we are trying to ascertain the exact reason — whether it is the exhaustion of fuel or antenna being unable to communicate," an unnamed senior scientist told the Times of India.

MOM was India's first interplanetary mission and made the ISRO only the fourth space agency to achieve an orbit around the Red Planet.

The spacecraft arrived at Mars just in time for it to catch the passage of Comet Siding Spring on Oct!


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