New Delhi: Mangalyaan is going to face its first major hurdle in the month of June this year when the spacecraft will have no communication with the earth station for about a fortnight. It will be the first communication break for such a long period since it was launched by ISRO on Nov 5, 2013.
This information was given by former ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan at the Indian Science Congress.The director of Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) Subbiah Arunan, has said that the blackout will be from June 08 to June22 as a result of Sun coming in between Earth and Mars.
He further stated that during this period no data can be transmitted or downlinked as MOM will be in fully autonomous mode. The director of MOM has further said that the spacecraft had been tested for such manoeuvres whenever there is a communication blackout.
Arunan also said that a similar condition will also arise in May 2016 when Earth will come between the Sun and Mars, blocking communication with the spacecraft for about a fortnight again. That phase will be known as ‘whiteout' period.