A fourth engine burn has put India’s Mangalyaan probe back on course.


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A fourth engine burn has put India’s Mangalyaan probe back on course.

The unexpected abort during the previous burn occurred because engineers were testing the primary and secondary electrical coils that operate the engine’s valves.

During the firing on Monday morning, the team was trying to use both the primary and the redundant coils together as part of a trial. However, there was no fuel flow in this mode and the orbiter could not pick up the required velocity or reach the desired higher orbit. … A senior engineer involved in the process said, “Both the coils are working independently (but not if they are switched on together.)

Today’s burn demonstrated that nothing on the spacecraft has actually failed. As expected, simultaneous use of the two coils will no longer be attempted.

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2 comments

  • It strikes me as curious that these ‘trials’ weren’t ground tested first. My understanding is that US spacecraft are functionally mocked-up (system components are wired together) and then tested prior to final system and procedure design. Did the Indians not do this?

  • “My understanding is that US spacecraft are functionally mocked-up (system components are wired together) and then tested prior to final system and procedure design.”

    Which explains why US spacecraft are so expensive and take so long to build, They almost always work, but cost a hell of a lot. Mangalyaan was very cheap, and was finished in a relatively short time.

    I’m not suggesting the Indian way here is right, it just has its own advantages and disadvantages.

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