Wednesday, 29 October 2014

India reaches the Mars

It was a historic moment on 24 September when the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi congratulated the space scientists for successfully inserting the Mars Orbiter Mission into Martian orbit in their very first attempt, creating a history. The Prime Minister said that Indian scientists, through their hard work and dedication, have stretched the boundaries of human enterprise and  imagination. He described the Mars Orbiter Mission as an indigenous pan-Indian effort, stretching from Bangalore to Bhubaneswar, and Faridabad to Rajkot. Mr Modi remarked that he had chosen to be present at ISRO today, unmindful of success or failure of the mission. You have "made a habit of achieving the impossible," the Prime Minister said. He said Modern India must continue playing its role of Jagadguru Bharat.
The Governor of Karnataka, Shri Vajubhai Vala, the Chief Minister of Karnataka Shri Siddaramaiah, and Union Ministers Shri Ananth Kumar and Shri Sadanand Gowda were present on the occasion.
The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft started orbiting the red planet at 7.47 am, but it was only 12 minutes later — because of a time delay in radio signals travelling the 680 million km — that scientists at Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network in Bangalore made the official statement making the nation erupt in joy. The biggest achievement of the 300-day odyssey is India's demonstration of mastery over making the spacecraft 'think and act' on its own. The spacecraft has its own electronic brain that made it journey for more than 680 million km, correcting altitude and positioning its antenna constantly toward earth for communication and its solar panels toward the sun to generate power. It is this brain that stor ed commands from ISRO in Bangalore 10 days in advance and carried them out to fire its engine to enter Martian orbit. As it goes around Mars on an elliptical orbit with the closest point around 420 km and the farthest around 80,000 km, MOM will employ five equipment that collectively weight 15 kg to do scientific studies.
The Lyman alpha photometer would measure the relative abundance of deuterium and hydrogen in the upper Martian atmosphere to understand previous presence of water on the red planet. A methane sensor will look for sources of the gas. While the Mars colour camera clicks away, a thermal infrared spectrometer will study heat emission, minerals and soil on Mars.
Before India, various countries have launched Mars missions, but out of the 51 attempts, only 21 were successful. India now joins the Martian club that comprises the US, Russia and the European Space Agency. Only the European Space Agency has got its orbiter right in the first attempt (Mars Express in 2003), but India can claim a first since the agency is a conglomeration of several countries.
PSLV-C25, in its twenty fifth flight, successfully carried the Mars Orbiter Mission Spacecraft from SDSC SHAR Sriharikota on 05 Nov 2013.

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