The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) performed a glitch free rehearsal of India’s first mission to the Red Planet designated the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) at Sriharikota centre. The MOM is scheduled for launch at 2.38pm on November 5, 2013.
As per ISRO, the dry run simulated the entire command sequence of the countdown. It demonstrated the mission readiness. Except for fuel filling all the activities 8-10 hours prior to the lift-off of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-XL were simulated without a snag. The trial’s most significant aspect was the retraction of the mobile service tower and bringing it back which was performed impeccably.
If everything goes well, the final 56.5-half countdown will start at 6am on November 3, 2013. To involve the public, a countdown clock has been included on the MOM’s Facebook page.
US space agency NASA also plans to launch Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission which is slated for launch on November 18, 2013 and both MOM and MAVEN are expected to arrive at the Red Planet at the same time in September 2014.
About India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) ‘Mangalyan’:
- The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has been named ‘Mangalyan‘
- To be launched onboard PSLV C25 on November 5, 2013 at 14:36 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)
It is for the first time Turkey has joined its European and Asian sides by inaugurating a railway tunnel thereby also fulfilling a vision first proposed by Ottoman sultan Abdulmejid about 150 years ago to connect the two continents.
The Europe-Asia linking tunnel:
The tunnel is 13.6km long, with 1.4km running under the Bosphorus, the strait that connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, and divides Istanbul between Asia and Europe. The tunnel is part of a larger “Marmaray” project that also includes an upgrade of existing suburban train lines to create a 76-kilometre (47-mile) line that links the two continents. Built at more than 55-metres underground, it will be the deepest submerged railway tunnel of its type in the world. Turkey hopes that with 1.5 million passengers a day, it will ease some of Istanbul’s chronic traffic jams, particularly over the two bridges that currently connect the two sides of the city.
The project work began in 2005 and was scheduled to be completed in four years. But it was delayed by important archaeological finds, including a 4th century Byzantine port, as builders started digging under the city.
Japan Bank for International Cooperation was the main financier contributing 735 million euros ($1 billion) to the project.
The World Bank approved financial aissistance of $250 million for Uttarakhand, in the wake of rains and landslides that wreaked havoc in the state in June 2013. The fund would be used to help the state undertake rehabilitation work and improve its capacity for disaster management.
India had asked for assistance from multi-lateral organizations like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for undertaking rehabilitation work in Uttarakhand.
Prior to this, a joint World Bank and ADB team conducted a Joint Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (JRDNA) to rebuild Uttarakahnd’s infrastructure damaged in the calamity. As per JRDNA estimate, the total reconstruction work to repair physical damages and infrastructure loss was calculated at about $661 million.