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Mars Orbiter Mission arrival timeline

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

16-09-2014 13:11 CDT

Topics: Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), mission status

Edit Sep 21: Some of the times in the Pacific Time column were not correct when this was originally posted. I have fixed the error. Sorry and thanks to Sameer for pointing out the error in the comments.

Mars Orbiter Mission's fated arrival day is approaching fast! ISRO released a timeline of the critical orbit insertion events yesterday, and I thought it would be handy to people for me to convert this to some other time zones. Also, one item in the ISRO timeline made it clear that all of the times they are mentioning in public communication are spacecraft event time -- that is, the time on the spacecraft's clock when the events take place. But we on Earth will be 224 million kilometers from Mars on that day, and it will take 12.5 minutes for the signals from the spacecraft to reach Earth. So I have also added those 12.5 minutes to the times listed below, making them Earth Received Time. These are the times on our clocks when we will hear from the spacecraft...or not. If these times change at all, I will update this blog entry with new information.

MAVEN orbit insertion burn start -- not part of Mars Orbiter Mission, of course, but an important Mars event in this time period! -2d Sep 22
Sep 22
Sep 22
Sep 21
Mars Orbiter Mission test fire main engine  -1d 17h Sep 22
Sep 22
Sep 22
Sep 22
Change over to Medium Gain Antenna -3h Sep 24
Sep 24
Sep 23
Sep 23
Forward rotation starts -21m Sep 24
Sep 24
Sep 24
Sep 23
Eclipse starts -5m 13s 07:24:49 03:54:49 01:54:49 18:54:49
Attitude control with thrusters -3m 07:27:02 03:57:02 01:57:02 18:57:02
MOI start   07:30:02 04:00:02 02:00:02 19:00:02
Mars occultation start +4m 18s 07:34:20 04:04:20 02:04:20 19:04:20
Telemetry off +5m 07:35:02 04:05:02 02:05:02 19:05:02
Eclipse ends +19.48m 07:49:31 04:19:31 02:19:31 19:19:31
MOI end +24m 14s 07:54:16 04:24:16 02:24:16 19:24:16
Reverse maneuver start +25m 14s 07:55:16 04:25:16 02:25:16 19:25:16
Mars occultation ends +27m 38s 07:57:40 04:27:40 02:27:40 19:27:40
Telemetry resumes +30m 14s 08:00:16 04:30:16 02:30:16 19:30:16

For more information about orbit insertion events, read this guest post by Srinivas Laxman.

Mars Orbiter Mission at Mars


Mars Orbiter Mission at Mars
See other posts from September 2014


Or read more blog entries about: Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), mission status


pkuhns: 09/16/2014 01:48 CDT

very helpful thank you! (adding to google calendar...)

Monstrim: 09/16/2014 03:50 CDT

Question: between MOI start and MOI end, are all those 24 minutes burn time?

ethanol: 09/16/2014 05:06 CDT

Monstrim: Very likely; MOM is not equipped with a very powerful rocket; trans-mars injection required multiple burns spread out over five or six orbits.

IamfromOrion: 09/16/2014 05:15 CDT

Hii Emily , Thanx for the info .and i think you write MoM as MAVEN by mistake in the first event in the list . Please correct it to avoid confusion.Thanks

Kryten: 09/16/2014 05:45 CDT

That's not a mistake; that's the time for NASA's MAVEN spacecraft, which is arriving during the same window.

Vincent Pinto: 09/17/2014 05:09 CDT

Kryten: Now that you point it out it makes sense. However, I too initially thought as lamfromOrion. A context switch is never a good idea, without adequately prepping the public who might generally not be aware there was another mission. Just like folks interested in a MAVEN-related post might not be aware that MOM was enroute.

Emily Lakdawalla: 09/17/2014 10:36 CDT

You're right, that was confusing; I've added some text to the timeline to make it clearer.

Shreerang Kaulgi: 09/19/2014 02:22 CDT

Nasa has been through this many times and often successfully. For ISRO it is first time. However, when the learning is shared, there is less anxiety. We hope to have a Success High Tea at 0800 IST.

sssalvi: 09/19/2014 02:29 CDT

Actually the timetag Sep 22 01:37:00 GMT has a significance in the life of MOM also . It enters Mars' sphere of Influence even as the MAVEN orbit insertion takes place.

Sameer: 09/21/2014 10:06 CDT

I think there is a mistake in the table. PDT is UTC -7h but in this table all the PDT times are UTC -6h.

Emily: 09/21/2014 12:11 CDT

Argh, Sameer, you're right! I've fixed the PDT times (and rechecked that the rest of the times in the table had correct conversions from IST). Thanks for pointing it out.

victor: 09/22/2014 09:43 CDT

Mars Orbiter Spacecraft's Main Liquid Engine Successfully Test Fired 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).

victor: 09/22/2014 09:44 CDT

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.

ChrisC: 09/23/2014 12:17 CDT

Emily, can you update the table above with the new MOI burn start (and end) times? This article and table is a great reference but those two times are off by about 13 minutes now. I think all the others stay the same, or nearly the same. We still have to wait until 7:30pm PT / 10:30pm ET to find out if MOM is in orbit! And assuming that Emily isn't watching comments here like a hawk, can some else tweet her or something to ask for this update? :)

ChrisC: 09/23/2014 04:26 CDT

Aaaaaand upon further reading, I see that the new adjusted MOI burn start time is only 30 seconds later than the previously published start time. The 13 minute difference I saw was mostly due to ISRO speaking in terms of spacecraft time, whereas Emily has (helpfully) converted to Earth-received time in her table above -- a 12.5 minute difference. Duh. Nevermind :)

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