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Old 12-12-2016, 10:30 PM
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hjlyuen hjlyuen is offline
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Mangalyaan ISRO Mars Orbiter Misson 1:87 scale

It’s been over a year that India’s Mangalyaan has been orbiting Mars. A remarkable achievement considering ISRO’s budget, the 15 months from development to deployment, and successfully achieving a Mars mission on the first try all of which earned it the US-based National Space Society's 2015 Space Pioneer Award.

Meanwhile, I could have not find a paper model of Mangalyaan and decided to design one. My model is in 1:87 scale but the parts are designed so even the smallest could be scaled up to the more common 1:20 and 1:24 scale for satellites and space probes. However, glue tabs will be needed added for the smaller parts like the scientific instruments and the reaction wheels will need to be several layers thicker instead of just one layer thick in 1:87 scale. There 2 templates for the reaction wheel mounts, the one with more surfaces is for larger scales while the one with fewer surfaces is for 1:87 scale because I could not fold anything as narrow as 0.25 mm.

The actual space probe is covered in multi-layer thermal insulation and the instruments are just bumps on the under the blanket if you know where to look. Also makes it hard to get measurement from the photos that I found on the internet. In order to show the scientific instruments, the model was designed with an insulating blanket that is more form fitting than it actually was.

I like to explain and show to my wife and granddaughter that Mangalyaan has to point it parabolic dish antenna toward Earth and at the same time have its solar panels face the sun. With that in mind, the model was designed with solar panels that can turn. We start construction with the thrust cylinder assembly because this part was designed to provide a second point of contact for the solar panel axle in order to keep the solar panels from sagging.

Tomorrow we continued with the top assembly so we can reinforce the upper – pitch deck and keep it from bending.
Attached Thumbnails
Mangalyaan ISRO Mars Orbiter Misson 1:87 scale-1-thrust-cylinder-assy.jpg   Mangalyaan ISRO Mars Orbiter Misson 1:87 scale-2-solar-panel-axle.jpg   Mangalyaan ISRO Mars Orbiter Misson 1:87 scale-3-helium-tank.jpg  
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Old 12-13-2016, 03:28 PM
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ghaspacer ghaspacer is offline
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Looking forward to see the completed model, looks like it's going to be a nice model to collect.
Will it be available to download?
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:26 PM
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hjlyuen hjlyuen is offline
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Yes, I will post the patterns in the download section after I complete assembling the model. I am still making changes to the pattern. Even though I am building in 1/87 scale, the pattern that I will post will be in more common scale, like 1/24.


The top deck assembly is what supports the feed horn for the high gain antenna. Today, parts 11-14 got glued together. The HGA cable (Part 15) will be glued on later as it is easily broken off.

Next is the propellant tank, reaction wheel, and the HGA cable (part 15)
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Mangalyaan ISRO Mars Orbiter Misson 1:87 scale-4-top-deck-assembly.jpg   Mangalyaan ISRO Mars Orbiter Misson 1:87 scale-5-feed-horn.jpg  
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:44 PM
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hjlyuen hjlyuen is offline
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I was never good at modeling spheres which would be the propellant tank. Mangalyaan has 2 of them, stacked one on top of the other. The one that is protruding halfway out of the primary structure is the one that can be seen. On the first try, I tried a petal design which was not forgiving. Next I tried conic sections, which looked a little better but not by much.

Tomorrow night, the reaction wheels.
Attached Thumbnails
Mangalyaan ISRO Mars Orbiter Misson 1:87 scale-6-propellant-tank-collar-5557.jpg   Mangalyaan ISRO Mars Orbiter Misson 1:87 scale-7-propellant-tank-5557.jpg  
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:19 AM
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SAustin16 SAustin16 is offline
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Very well done. Watching with interest. Spheres are always a challenge in paper.
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:53 AM
sreinmann sreinmann is offline
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Great to see some progress in the ISRO programs. I hope it scales up well.
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:25 AM
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hjlyuen hjlyuen is offline
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Glue a stack of parts 21 together so the reaction wheels are about 40 mm thick. Pay no attention to (1) the solar panel axle that I bent while trying to glue the small parts on and (2) the poorly shaped propellant tank. On the other hand, I think I captured the shape of the medium gain antenna.

I think from here, the order of construction will be from the side least likely to be damaged to the side with the most delicate parts: + yaw deck with the instruments and short low gain antenna, the –yaw deck with the star sensors and the taller low gain antenna (just waiting to be broken off), the – roll deck with the spindly apogee motor nozzle (also waiting to be broken off), the – pitch deck with the thin hinges which I don’t think can support the weight of the high gain antenna, and finally the + pitch deck with the solar panels where I already damaged the axle.

When this is finally done, I don’t think I can hold the model in one hand and point the HGA toward earth and with the other hand turn the solar panels to face the sun as I originally thought without breaking all kinds of small parts off the model.
Attached Thumbnails
Mangalyaan ISRO Mars Orbiter Misson 1:87 scale-8-reaction-wheels.jpg   Mangalyaan ISRO Mars Orbiter Misson 1:87 scale-9-lap.jpg  
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Old 12-20-2016, 02:03 PM
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hjlyuen hjlyuen is offline
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I don’t think this would be a problem in a larger scale but part 32 for the low gain antenna is so small in 1:87 scale, that instead of cutting out and rolling 4 individual parts for the TC&C antenna, I made one long cylinder and then cut it to length.

Once I glue on the liquid apogee motor, there are only 2 sides left that the model can rest on without small parts getting broken off.
Attached Thumbnails
Mangalyaan ISRO Mars Orbiter Misson 1:87 scale-10-tcc-low-gain-antenna-5577.jpg   Mangalyaan ISRO Mars Orbiter Misson 1:87 scale-11-menca.jpg  
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:23 PM
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hjlyuen hjlyuen is offline
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The 2 star sensors and the low gain telemetry, tracking and control antenna with the longer mast goes on the - yaw deck. The remaining instruments, MCC, MSM, and TIS go on the – pitch deck.

Next the liquid apogee motor and the 8 attitude control thrusters.
Attached Thumbnails
Mangalyaan ISRO Mars Orbiter Misson 1:87 scale-12-star-sensors.jpg   Mangalyaan ISRO Mars Orbiter Misson 1:87 scale-13-mcc-msm-tis-5582.jpg  
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:59 PM
elliott elliott is offline
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You're doing a good job Henry, especially with all the fiddly little bits just waiting to be knocked off.
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