Mangalyaan Successful, Makes India Join US, Russia, Europe in Mars Orbiters’ Club; What Next?

It was almost a decade-long plan that proved cheerful to the whole nation on Wednesday morning coinciding with the sun rise in Bangalore when India’s Mangalyaan Mission entered the Mars’ surface to begin its elliptical orbit of the Red Planet. With this, the 300 and odd days of MOM journey comes to an end bringing relief for the cross-fingered scientists at ISRO.

In fact, India has achieved a status that makes it proud to send future missions to Mars, send the first Indian to Moon and offer space deals to other nations on its proven PSLV in the future. First time, India’s maiden interplanetary mission proved successful, more so because China has failed doing it.

ISRO reported this mornging that Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft started orbiting the red planet at 7.47am, but it was only 12 minutes later that the signals travelling the 680 million km reached Isro Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network in Bangalore, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew down to witness the incident in Bangalore.

Prime Minister Modi was equally upbeat when he congratulated the ISRO scientists. "MOM never disappoints," he told them. "India is the first country to get this right in the first attempt," he said. "Jab kaam mangal hota hai, irade mangal hote hain, tho yaatra bhi mangal hota hai (When the task is holy, and so is the intention, the journey has to be a success)," he said.

It was on November 5, 2013 that PSLV-C25 lifted off from Sriharikota with the spacecraft and left the Earth’s orbit on December 1, 2013 and reached Mars orbit on Monday. It was positioned successfully into Mars orbit so the gravitation pull doesn’t bring down the satellite but it remains in an elliptical orbit with the closest point around 420km and the farthest around 80,000km.

Now the MOM will use its five equipments weighing 15kg to carry out its scientific studies of the Mars surface and weather conditions, including the presence of water, minerals, soil condition and heat emission.

So far, 51 missions have been sent to study Mars but only 21 were successful and India becomes the fourth country to join the club of the US, Russia and the European Space Agency. Moreover, India is the first Asian nation to send a successful Mars mission as China failed in its maiden mission.

President Pranab Mukherjee has congratulated the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) saying "The success has made India the first Asian country and ISRO the fourth space agency to send a satellite to the red planet. ISRO is also the first to enter the Martian Orbit in it’s maiden attempt.

The nation is proud of this historic achievement which has demonstrated, yet again, India’s space capabilities. I am sure that this breakthrough, which marks a significant landmark in our space programme, will inspire our scientists to make even greater strides."


The missions undertaken/planned by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 2014 include – 3 Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles, 1 Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, 2 Communication Satellites, 1 Earth Observation (Ocean) Satellite, 1 Meteorological Satellite, 1 Navigation Satellite and Mars orbiter.

ISRO is planning to accomplish Eight missions which include –
(i) 2 Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (C20, C22);
(ii) 1 Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (D5);
(iii) 2 Communication Satellites (GSAT-7, GSAT-14);
(iv) 1 Earth Observation (Ocean) Satellite (SARAL);
(v) 1 Meteorological Satellite (INSAT-3D);
(vi) 1 Navigation Satellite (IRNSS-1A).

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