$75 Million Indian Mars Orbiter Has Made History

Mars Orbiter Mangalyaan Is Successful
Mars Orbiter Mangalyaan Is Successful

India’s first Mars mission, the fourth country to achieve to success and first country to achieve on its first try. More than half the world’s attempts to reach Mars – 23 out of 40 missions – have failed, including missions by Japan in 1999 and China in 2011.

Five solar-powered instruments aboard Mangalyaan will gather data to help determine how Martian weather systems work and what happened to the water that is believed to have once existed on Mars in large quantities. Mangalyaan will also search Mars for methane, a key chemical in life processes on Earth that could also come from geological processes.

Objectives of Mangalyaan

The primary objective of the Mars Orbiter Mission is to showcase India’s rocket launch systems, spacecraft-building and operations capabilities. Specifically, the primary objective is to develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission, comprising the following major tasks:

Design and realisation of a Mars orbiter with a capability to perform Earth-bound manoeuvres, cruise phase of 300 days, Mars orbit insertion / capture, and on-orbit phase around Mars, Deep-space communication, navigation, mission planning and management

Incorporate autonomous features to handle contingency situations.

Probe’s payload

Lyman-Alpha Photometer (LAP) – a photometer that measures the relative abundance of deuterium and hydrogen from Lyman-alpha emissions in the upper atmosphere. Measuring the deuterium/hydrogen ratio will allow an estimation of the amount of water loss to outer space.

Methane Sensor For Mars (MSM) – will measure methane in the atmosphere of Mars, if any, and map its sources.

For particle environment studies:

Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA) – is a quadrupole mass analyser capable of analysing the neutral composition of particles in the exosphere.

Surface imaging studies

Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS) – will measure the temperature and emissivity of the Martian surface, allowing for the mapping of surface composition and mineralogy of Mars.

Mars Colour Camera (MCC) – will provide images in the visual spectrum, providing context for the other instruments.

For more: Objectives.

Tweet exchange between Mars Rover Curiosity & MangalYaan:

PM Modi’s Speech:

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