[meteorite-list] India's Mars Mission Postponed One Week Due to Bad Weather

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Oct 2013 16:21:19 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201310192321.r9JNLJ4v011252_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


India's Mars mission postponed by a week due to bad weather in Pacific Ocean
By Pallava Bagla
October 19, 2013

New Delhi: The launch of India's maiden mission to Mars has been postponed
by a week; it is now to be launched in November if weather permits. Ironically,
rough weather in the Pacific Ocean has forced this decision.

The Mangalyaan was to be launched as early as October 28, but it will
now definitely miss this first opportunity, the Indian Space Research
Organisation or ISRO has confirmed.

The mission can be launched anytime until November 19, 2013, so all is
not lost.

The good news is that India's satellite for its maiden mission to Mars
and the rocket - the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) - that will
hoist it into space are ready. The bad news is that weather in the Pacific
Ocean has slowed things down, K Radhakrishnan, ISRO chairman told NDTV.

India will launch an unmanned scientific satellite to Mars in a mission
that has cost Rs. 450 crore to study the thin Martian atmosphere.

For the first time, India is deploying two special ships hired from the
Shipping Corporation of India, SCI Nalanda and SCI Yamuna, and these will
monitor the health and movement of India's rocket several minutes after
the launch when it is coasting in the sky over the Pacific Ocean. This
is a special requirement for the Mars mission.

Mr Radhakrishnan says the movement of Indian ships in the Pacific has
been slowed down due to the bad weather and a decision on the date of
the launch can possibly be taken on October 22, when he says the second
ship reaches its destination in the Pacific Ocean.

The Mangalyaan satellite has been fuelled and now the spacecraft is being
mated with the rocket on India's space port, Sriharikota. Both the machines,
according to Mr Radhakrishnan, are ready to meet the next launch opportunity.

At this time of the year, the weather at Sriharikota is always a big worry
since this is the cyclone season in the Bay of Bengal. But for the first
time, ISRO is forced to worry about weather in faraway Pacific to arrive
at an opportune launch window for India's first inter-planetary mission.
Received on Sat 19 Oct 2013 07:21:19 PM PDT

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