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India to launch Mars Orbiter Mission on Nov 5
Nov 01, 2013

The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), 'Mangalyan', would now be launched onboard PSLV C25 on November 5 at 14:36 hours from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. 

The powerful XL version of the Indian Space Research Organisation's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) would be used for the Rs 450 crore mission. 

Primary objectives of the mission are to demonstrate Indias technological capability to send a satellite to orbit around Mars and conduct meaningful experiments such as looking for signs of life, take pictures of the red planet and study Martian environment. 

The satellite will carry compact science experiment instruments, totalling a mass of 15 kg. The Methane Sensor for Mars, which will be capable of scanning the entire Martian disc within six minutes, will weigh 3.59 kg. Earlier missions to Mars had detected Methane in the thin Martian atmosphere, but the discovery is yet to be corroborated. Methane is known to be released by some microbes as part of their digestive process. 

Another instrument - Thermal Infrared Spectrometer - weighing 4 kg will be used to map the surface composition of Mars. The Mars Colour Camera has a mass of 1.4 kg, while the Lyman-alpha photometer, weighing 1.5 kg, will measure atomic hydrogen in the Martian atmosphere. The Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA) which will study the Martian atmosphere weighs about 4 kg. 

 


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