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Mangalyaan: India’s race for space success
- 24 September 2014
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India’s maiden mission to Mars, the Mangalyaan, has arrived in orbit after a 300-day marathon covering over 670 million kilometres (420 million miles). Science writer Pallava Bagla traced its journey as it neared the Red Planet.
On the morning of 24 September, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) slowed down the spacecraft sufficiently so it could be caught in the orbit of Mars.
“India will become the first Asian country to have achieved this and if it happens in the maiden attempt itself, India could become the first country in the world to have reached distant Mars on its own steam in the first attempt,” said Isro chairman K Radhakrishnan as it approached.
Both Russia and the US failed in their maiden attempts. The first Chinese mission to Mars, called Yinghuo-1, failed in 2011 alongside the Russian Phobos-Grunt mission with which it was launched. Earlier in 1998, the Japanese mission to Mars ran out of fuel and was lost.
Undoubtedly, India – a late starter – is way ahead of its Asian rivals in trying to get to the Red Planet.
“We are really not racing with anyone, but with ourselves to reach the next level of excellence,” said Mr Radhakrishnan.
‘Pink of health’
India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) – an indigenously made unmanned robotic mission weighing 1,350kg (2,976lb) – was launched from the rocket port at Sriharikota on the coast of the Bay of Bengal on a balmy afternoon on 5 November last year.
Since then, the mission “has been in the pink of health”, says Isro, and has been cruising at breakneck speed to reach close to Mars, half-way around the Sun.
The 4.5bn rupee ($74m; £45m) mission is, as Mr Radhakrishnan says, “the cheapest inter-planetary mission ever to be undertaken by the world”.
On his visit to India’s rocket port on 30 June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “The [making of the] Hollywood movie Gravity cost more than our Mars mission – this is a great achievement.”
India’s low-cost and quick turnaround satellite mission has been attracting a lot of global attention from the scientific community that seeks to better understand the mysterious Mars.
On the morning of 24 September Indian time, Isro re-oriented Mangalyaan and fired its on-board rocket motor for about 24 minutes to slow the spacecraft.
It was a very tricky operation – if it did not slow down sufficiently, it would have missed being caught by the gravity of Mars and the mission could have be lost in outer space; but if the rocket engine had fired more than required it could have slowed the Mangalyaan so much that it risked crashing down on to the red soil of Mars.
Since 1960, there have been 51 global missions to Mars and the overall success rate stands at 42% so the odds were loaded against the Indian Martian entry.
M Annadurai, head of the Indian Mars mission, said he was “confident that the laws of physics will favour India and the country could have its first robotic Martian baby soon”.
Isro dubs the mission a “technology demonstrator”, essentially showcasing to the world that India is no longer a country of snake charmers but a high-tech hub that has developed its technology against the odds and stringent sanctions.
The mission also makes a big global geo-political statement ahead of Mr Modi’s imminent visit to the US.
In its six-month life, the mission will study the atmosphere of Mars and search for methane gas while asking that eternal question that has dogged humanity: “Are we alone in the universe?”
Within hours of its arrival in the orbit, the spacecraft is expected to relay the first images taken by an Indian eye of the Red Planet and help decipher why and how Mars lost its liquid water.
These are important questions essential for the long-term survival of human beings on Earth.
In the sprint for the Martian marathon, India has shown its technological capability and resilience to undertake arduous inter-planetary journeys.
Many, however, say this bid to reach Mars is a “delusional dream” of India seeking super-power status since 400 million Indians still live without electricity and 600 million people still do not have access to toilets.
However, in real terms, the Mangalyaan has cost India just about four rupees (seven cents; four pence) per person – which is chicken feed for a country of 1.2 billion people.
India sees the Mars mission as an opportunity to beat its regional rival China in reaching the planet, and with destination Mars within touching distance, it may after all meet that target.
Pallava Bagla is a correspondent for Science and science editor for New Delhi Television. He is the co-author with Subhadra Menon of Reaching for the Stars: India’s Journey to Mars and Beyond
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UPSC Essay Science and Technology is a panacea for the growth. While it is commendable that the space organisation is doing what needs to be done to continue the Indian scientific community’s contribution to the interesting-as-ever study of Mars, the announcement for a MOM-2 is also important for what it says about the relevance of MOM-1’s findings. Dec 7, 2013. India’s recent Mars mission – Mangalyaan – was criticised by some. Questions were raised – can a country as poor as India afford to indulge in.
ISRO Plans Return to Mars with Mangalyaan 2.0 – The Wire As mentioned earlier, MOM-1 was primarily a technology demonstrator while the science was secondary, so the delay in publishing results is not that acutely felt. In fact, the sooner some results are available, the easier it will be for ISRO to make decisions about future missions, their scientific agenda and payloads and, overall, the problems that the space organisation will be uniquely positioned to tackle in the longer term. Aug 12, 2016. The next Mars mission will likely be launched in March 2018, have a less elliptical orbit around the red planet and could weigh seven times.
India Satellite Mangalyaan Reaches Mars Orbit on First Try. One key finding revealed today is that the solar wind strips gas from #Mars at about 100 grams (~1/4 lb) per second. Mangalyaan, Hindi for Mars craft, cost million to send into space, making it by far the cheapest of recent missions to Mars. The U. S. spent 1 million getting its Maven satellite to Mars orbit, where it arrived late Sunday.
Mangalyaan Latest News, Photos, Videos on Mangalyaan – NDTV. COM pic.twitter.com/VOj MSTY4m Z — NASA’s MAVEN Mission (@MAVEN2Mars) November 5, 2015Future Mars missions are focusing on in situ surface/subsurface probing by landers and rovers, with orbiters continuing studies of Martian surface and sub-surface and also serving as continued communication link to Earth. Find Mangalyaan Latest News, Videos & Pictures on Mangalyaan and see latest updates, news, information from Explore more on Mangalyaan.
India’s Mars satellite successfully enters orbit, bringing country into. These explorers will soon be joined by the Euro-Russian Exo Mars Trace Gas Orbiter, a satellite en route to Mars and which will closely study Mars’s atmospheric composition once it gets there. Sep 24, 2014. Mangalyaan, which means “Mars craft” in Hindi, took off from the island of Shriharikota, off India’s eastern coast, 10 months ago. The 3,000lb.
Mangalyaan, India’s Mars Orbiter Mission Scientific Indians This loss has been driven by the solar wind, the stream of charged particles emerging from the Sun. Mangalyaan is a Sanskrit word which means Mars-craft in Hindi; The Mangalyaan mission is a planned Mars orbiter to be launched in November 2013 by the Indian Space.
Essay on India’s Mars Mission – What it intends to achieve by. Existence of methane has been proposed from a few limited ground based and space based observations, but these are yet to be confirmed unambiguously. The red planet a.k.a Mars has attracted the scientists all over the world in the recent past. It seems there is a global race going on to conquer the Mars. Get Essay for UPSC and Civil Service Aspirants in India.
India Satellite Mangalyaan Reaches Mars Orbit on First Try – U. S. ISRO’s first MOM (MOM-1), which got into orbit around Mars in September 2014, has been looking for signs of atmospheric methane while studying surface features – just like the NASA MAVEN mission that started operating around the same time. Sep 24, 2014. Mangalyaan, Hindi for Mars craft, cost million to send into space, making it by far the cheapest of recent missions to Mars. The U. S. spent.
Mangalyaan Incredible Facts For Your Kids To Know About. The last line is particularly relevant: since September 2014, only a few scientific studies based on MOM’s findings have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Terms like Mangalyaan, Mars Orbiter Mission and Nasa are suddenly in the news and your kids are bound to have questions. So, we thought of putting together the most important bits of info for curious little minds.