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बेसिक इंग्लिश का दूसरा सत्र (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 22 अक्तूबर, शाम 3:30 से 5:30)
India Creates History; Mangalyaan in Mars Orbit
Sep 24, 2014

India created history on 24 September, becoming the first country to succeed on its first Mars mission when ISRO's Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter Mission-MOM) slipped into Mars orbit. The spacecraft (Orbiter) was successfully inserted into the Martian orbit at 515 km away from the red planet's surface and 215 million km away from the earth in radio distance.

There were some tense moments at the Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO), which commanded a series of tricky manoeuvres to position the spacecraft in its designated orbit around Mars. 

  • The insertion started at 4.17 a.m. when the spacecrfat switched over to the medium gain antenna for providing the communication link during the insertion. At 6.56 a.m., the spacecraft initiated the process of forward rotation, reducing its speed. 

  • At 7.17 a.m., the scientists had to grapple with the most critical moment—when the liquid apogee motor had to be fired. The motor was woken up for four seconds on 22 September during a test-fire after 300 days of long sleep.

  • The motor was fired for 24 minutes, reducing the velocity of the spacecraft by 4.2 km. per second in relation to Mars. 

  • This was soon followed by moments of tension and anxiety when the communication broke as the spacecraft slipped behind Mars as the scientists waited for the good news.

  • At 7.45am, the occult ended and after two minutes, communication with the spacecraft resumed and data was flashed about the performance of the liquid apogee motor.

Radars at the four earth stations across the US, Europe, India and Australia received the signal confirming the successful insertion of the spacecraft into the Martian orbit. 

Mangalyaan, which relies on homegrown technology, is a remarkably low budget mission of about $75 million. NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission, or MAVEN, which reached its position around the Red Planet on 22 September, has a price tag of $671 million—nearly nine times more than Mangalyaan.

MOM's scientific goals including using five solar-powered instruments to gather data that will 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. It will also search Mars for methane, a key chemical in life processes on Earth that could also come from geological processes.

The spacecraft is expected to circle the planet for at least six months, following an elliptical orbit that gets within 365 kilometers (227 miles) of the planet's surface at its closest and 80,000 kilometers (49,700 miles) at its farthest.

The Mars Orbiter Mission is India's first interplanetary mission. It was launched on November 5 last year from Sriharikota with the powerful Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The mission was approved by the Indian government in August 2012 and was executed in 15 months at a cost of Rs. 450 crore.

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