School students celebrate the successful insertion of Mars Orbiter (Mangalyaan) into the Mars orbit in outskirts of Chennai, on Sept. 24, 2014. ( IANS)

Mars Orbiter Mission Team Team Wins Space Pioneer Award

It is a proud moment for the Indian Space Research Organisation as India’s Mars Orbiter mission team has won the 2015 Space Pioneer Award on Tuesday, in the science and engineering category from National Space Society.

The US based NSS, said in a statement, “This award will be presented to an ISRO representative during the National Space Society’s 2015 International Space Development Conference (ISDC), the 34th ISDC, to be held in Toronto, Canada.”

On Monday, the NSS statement said that it “takes great pleasure in announcing its 2015 Space Pioneer Award in the science and engineering category has been won by the Indian Space ResearchOrganisation (ISRO) Mars Orbiter Programme team.”

According to the NSS, India’s Mars Orbiter, which launched on November 5, 2013 and went into Mars orbit on September 24, 2014 achieved two significant mission. First, in terms of an Indian spacecraft that has gone into orbit around Mars on the very first try and that no other country has ever done this.

Secondly, the spacecraft is in an elliptical orbit with a high apoapsis, and has a high resolution camera which is taking full-disk colour imagery of Mars.

Very few full disk images have ever been taken in the past, mostly on approach to the planet, as most imaging is done looking straight down in mapping mode. These images will aid planetary scientists.

According to the statement, the Mars Orbiter programme team has been located in Bangalore and is headed by Mylswamy Annadurai.

The NSS is an independent non-profit educational membership organisation dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. NSS has several different categories under which the award is presented each year since 1988.

Amid, the conference, in which the award will be presented, is likely to run from May 20 to 24. As per reports, the Space Pioneer Award consists of a silvery pewter Moon globe cast by the Baker ArtFoundry in Placerville, California, from a sculpture originally created by Don Davis, the well-known space and astronomical artist.


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