In a historic development, India’s first Mars mission- the Mars Orbiter Mission’s (MOM) spacecraft’s was propelled into the Mars Transfer Trajectory freeing it from the influence of Earth’s gravity. ISRO successfully conducted the Trans Mars Injection (TMI) operations to put MOM on course to the Red Planet with the help of spacecraft’s 440 Newton liquid engine which was fired for about 22 minutes providing a velocity increment of 648 metres/second to the spacecraft. With this, the Earth orbiting phase of the spacecraft ended and is now on path to Mars.
The spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Spacecraft Control Centre at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennae at Byalalu.
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 atSriharikota.
- 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’:
- 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)
Maharashtra will have its fifth tiger reserve in Nagzira as the National Tiger Conservation Authority has given nod to the development of the conservation zone. The tiger reserve will be set up between Bhandara and Gondia districts.
The Nagzira-Navegaon tiger reserve will be established to conserve tigers wandering outside the Tadoba reserve territory. The Nagzira sanctuary, which was of 150 square kilometer and the Navegaon National Park, was of 130 square kilometer, which has been increased to 700 square kilometer to form a new tiger reserve.
Where are the other four tiger reserves in Maharashtra?
The other four tiger reserves in Maharashtra are in:
About National Tiger Conservation Authority:
The Centrally Sponsored Scheme “Project Tiger” was launched in April, 1973 with the objective “to ensure maintenance of a viable population of Tigers in India for scientific, economic, aesthetic, cultural and ecological values, and to preserve for all times, areas of biological importance as a national heritage for the benefit, education and enjoyment of the people.”
The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 was amended keeping in view the needs of the Project Tiger for providing enabling provisions for constitution of the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the Tiger and Other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau.
So, the National Tiger Conservation Authority was constituted from September 4, 2006 to strengthen tiger conservation. The functions are as follows:
- Ensuring normative standards in tiger reserve management
- Preparation of reserve specific tiger conservation plan
- Lay down annual/ audit report before Parliament
- Instituting State level Steering Committees under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister and establishment of Tiger Conservation Foundation.
- According approval for declaring new Tiger Reserves.
The NTCA has constituted a multidisciplinary Tiger and Other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau (Wildlife Crime Control Bureau) with effect from 6.6.2007. The WCCB comprises the officers from Police, Forest, Customs and other enforcement agencies to effectively control illegal trade in wildlife.
Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF)
The announcement for creation of Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) was announced by the Finance Minister in Budget speech of 2008. A onetime grant of Rs. 50 Crore was provided to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for raising, arming and deploying a Special Tiger Protection Force for 13 tiger reserves. The rest of the reserves were taken up later.