New Delhi,Updated: March 6, 2023 19:27 IST
By India Today Science Desk: Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is going to launch a satellite from Low Earth Orbit. Mega-Tropics-1 (MT1) will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere on March 7 as scientists study and analyze its movements for the future of space debris mitigation and to make low Earth orbit more sustainable.
The spacecraft, jointly developed by ISRO and the French space agency, CNES, was launched to conduct tropical weather and climate research. Launched in October 2011 with a mission life of three years, the spacecraft continued to provide valuable data services for more than a decade.
During its service, MT1 supported regional and global climate models until 2021, before it was decided to decommission and burn up in the atmosphere. The decision to crash the satellite was made following space debris mitigation guidelines set by the United Nations Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (UNIADC).
Also Read | Chennai, Kolkata, India at particular risk due to sea level rise: survey
The guidelines state that the satellite should be deorbited at the end of its life, preferably by controlled re-entry into a safe impact zone, or bring it into an orbit where the orbital lifetime is less than 25 years. “Passivation” of onboard power sources is also recommended to reduce the risk of post-mission accidental break-up.
Isro has chosen an uninhabited area in the Pacific Ocean as the targeted re-entry region for MT1 and the space agency has carried out 18 orbital maneuvers since August 2022 to gradually lower the orbit of the defunct spacecraft. Between de-orbiting, aero-breaking studies were also conducted at different solar panel orientations to gain better insight into the physical mechanisms of atmospheric drag affecting satellite orbital decay.
“The final de-boost strategy has been designed considering a number of constraints, including visibility of the re-entry trace at the ground station, ground effects within the target area, and permissible operating conditions of the subsystems, particularly the maximum deliverable thrust. The maximum firing duration of the thrusters,” ISRO said in a statement. .
Also Read | ISRO has successfully tested the key rocket engine for Chandrayaan-3
The final two D-boosts are expected to burn after ground impact between 7 March IST and 19:30 IST. ISRO added that aero-thermal simulations have shown that there is no possibility of any major fragmentation of the satellite. Survive aerothermal heating during re-entry.
India has been vocal about the space junk surrounding Earth and how it makes observations difficult and even increases the risk of collisions in zero gravity. “MT1’s re-entry test is undertaken as part of the ongoing effort as this satellite with sufficient left-over fuel presents a unique opportunity to test relevant procedures and understand operational nuances related to post-mission disposal by direct re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. ,” ISRO said.
Also Read | Space station passes over India, returns stunning video | watch
Leave a Reply