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ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission completes 3 years in orbit

ISRO’s globally acclaimed Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) also known as Mangalyaan completed three years in Martian orbit. It has outlived its original lifespan and is still in good health and continues to work as expected.

On the occasion of completion of three years, ISRO released MOM second year science data from September 24, 2014 to September 23, 2016.

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)

Mangalyaan spacecraft was launched on board of PSLV C25 rocket from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on November 5, 2013 with aim of studying Martian surface and mineral composition as well as scan its atmosphere for methane (an indicator of life on Mars). It had entered Mar’s orbit on September 24, 2014, in its first attempt. It was nine-month-long mission.

The spacecraft was indigenously designed, built and launched by ISRO in record period of less than two years in Rs.450 crore ($73 million US) budget, making it cheapest inter-planetary mission till date to reach Mars.

The spacecraft has five instruments mounted on it for collecting scientific data of Mar’s morphology, atmospheric processes, surface temperature, surface geology and atmospheric escape process. These five instruments are Lyman-Alpha Photometer (LAP), Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM), Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA), Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS) and Mars Colour Camera (MCC)

Records

In September 2014, India (ISRO) created space history by becoming first nation in world to successfully launch interplanetary mission spacecraft into Mars orbit in maiden attempt. ISRO also become first Asian and fourth space agency in world to reach Mars orbit after the Roscosmos of Russia, NASA and European Space Agency.

Awards

For its enormous success in Mangalyaan mission, ISRO was conferred 2014 Indira Gandhi Peace Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development. The programme team of mission was conferred with prestigious 2015 Space Pioneer Award in Science and Engineering category by National Space Society (NSS).

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Stratolaunch: World’s largest aircraft successfully passes first engine tests

The world’s largest all-composite airplane Stratolaunch in terms of wingspan successfully completed its initial engine tests. It is designed for launching for sending satellite-carrying rockets into low-Earth orbit.

The plane hasbiggest wingspan ever built, measuring 118 m from one end to the other, longer than a professional football field. It weighs about 227,000 kg.

Key facts

Stratolaunch plane is fitted with six 747 turbofan engines. It is designed to carry nearly 250,000 kg between the two fuselages. It can hold more than 113,000 kg of fuel. It has operational range of approximately 2,000 nautical miles.

Stratolaunch plane is designed for runway-style takeoff.  Once it reaches cruising altitude of 11,000 metres, it can detach rockets carrying small satellites into low-Earth orbit. It is capable of delivering payloads to multiple orbits and inclinations in a single mission.

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