India’s Mangalyaan blasts off for 300-day odyssey to Red Planet
India’s ambitious Mars mission, orbiter Mangalyaan lifted off into space from Sriharikota spaceport, starting its 300-day voyage to study the Red Planet’s atmosphere.
The 350-tonne rocket carrying the 1,340-kg spacecraft was launched from the space facility on November 5, 2013 at 2.38pm as scheduled.
The rocket will place the spacecraft into an elliptic parking orbit in an hour after the launch. After this, the spacecraft will perform a number of technical maneuvers and short burns to elevate its orbit before it catapults toward Mars.
After travelling around 780 million km, the spacecraft will reach Mars in September 2014, making India the only Asian country to reach Mars with a programme designed to demonstrate its low-cost space technology.
About India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) ‘Mangalyan’:
- The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has been named ‘Mangalyan‘
- Launched onboard PSLV C25 on November 5, 2013 at 14:38 hours from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.
- India’s first interplanetary mission to planet Mars with an orbiter craft designed to orbit Mars in an elliptical orbit.
- It will reach Martian transfer trajectory in September 2014. Subsequently, it is planned to enter into a 372 km by 80000 km elliptical orbit around Mars.
Objectives of India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) ‘Mangalyan’:
- The main objectives of the Mars mission are to showcase India’s technological prowess to send a satellite to orbit around Mars and conduct important experiments such as looking for signs of life, take pictures of the red planet and study Martian environment.
- To develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission.
- Design and realisation of a Mars orbiter with a capability to survive and perform Earth bound manoeuvres, cruise phase of 300 days, Mars orbit insertion or capture.
- Deep space communication, navigation, mission planning and management.
- Incorporate autonomous features to handle contingency situations.
- Exploration of Mars surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian atmosphere by indigenous scientific instruments.
Key Payloads on PSLV C25:
- Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP)
- Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM)
- Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA)
- Mars Colour Camera (MCC)
- Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometre (TIS)
Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017