Mangalyaan - India's Mars Orbiter Mission
Are we alone in this universe?
This was the question that lead man to explore space. Many countries started space missions to answer this multi million inquisitive question. As a result Apollo 11 of United States became the spaceflight that landed the first humans on the Moon. American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin were the men on board when Appollo 11 created history on July 20, 1969. Neil Armstrong became the first human being to step onto the lunar surface.
Researches and explorations continued thereafter and many expeditions carried out to space and outer space with man and animals. Finally observing similarities in many space photographs of Earth and Mars send by different missions of different countries the attention concentrated to Mars. Today India had created history by making its maiden Mars mission "Mangalyaan" a great success. India became the fourth country in the world to conduct successful Mars mission. The other countries are United States , Russia and European Space Agency (ESA). India is the first country in the world to succeed in the maiden Mars mission itself. Also it is the first country in Asian continent to conduct a successful Mars Mission.
Mangalyaan – some interesting facts.
India's Mangalyaan (MOM) is the cheapest inter-planetary mission that ever took place. Just after launching Mangalyaan USA launched a Mars mission namely MAVEN. The cost of Mangalyaan is about a tenth of NASA's MAVEN which entered the Martian orbit on September 22. It is interesting that the Hollywood movie Gravity cost more than India's Mars mission !!! (Gravity's budget was more than 610 Crore). The PSLV C25 rocket that carried India's first unmanned satellite to Mars was as high as a 15-storey building ! It weighed nearly 320 tonnes !! That is nearly equal to the weight of 50 full-grown elephants !!!
The first inter planetary mission of India Mars Orbiter Mission named as Mangalyaan was launched from Satish Dhavan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on November 5 , 2013. The homegrown PSLV C25 space rocket was used for launching Mangalyaan. The team of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lead by the chairman Dr.K.Radhakrishnan was eagerly and constantly watching every step of the expedition since then.
The presence of methane or marsh gas is a possible sign of life in a planet. So the 1,350 kg Mangalyaan is equipped with five instruments including a sensor to track these gases , a colour camera and a thermal imaging spectrometer to map the surface and mineral wealth of the Red Planet. The budget estimate of Mangalyaan is Rs 450 crore.
At the time of MOM's orbital insertion, its signals took about 12 minutes and 28 seconds to reach Earth stations. The signals will be received and processed by ISRO Bangalore station and by NASA's Deep Space Network Stations at Canberra (Australia) and Goldstone (USA) .
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How Mangalyaan entered Mars Orbit ?
By igniting the main engine named Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) at regular intervals the mission goals were achieved step by step. Mangalyaan escaped from the gravity pull of earth on December 1, 2013. Then LAM was almost in sleep. Igniting the main engine LAM was critical as it had been in hibernation for about 300 days but was woken up briefly for four seconds on Monday. It was a make or break nervous work as even the slightest error would have pushed the orbiter into deep depths of space leading the entire mission so far to loss.
After traveling about 680 million kilometers within 300 days on 2014 September 2014 at 7:17 AM IST (Indian Standard Time) Mangalyaan entered the orbit of Mars. The 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) sizzled with life when it burnt along with the thrusters to slow down the Mangalyaan. The Mars Orbiter Insertion was carried out automatically by commands loaded onto the spacecraft after its velocity was slowed down from 22.1 km per second to 4.4 km per second to be captured by the Red Planet orbit.
For more Reading
Mangalyaan had motivated the scientists in the whole world and all the people who loves science. More news and details about India's pride Mangalyaan can be read in below given resources.