By Manish Prabhat
Edited by Shambhavi Singh, Senior Editor, The Indian Economist
The Indian spacecraft Mangalyan (Mars Orbiter Mission – MOM) reached the Mars orbit on Wednesday, beating India’s Asian rivals to the Planet. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists have also outdone the Americans, the Soviets and the Europeans in completing the mars mission in its maiden attempt and on a limited budget relative to the aforesaid Western countries. India`s Mars Orbiter Mission has entered with ease into the orbit around the Red Planet, making India the first country to achieve such triumph in its maiden attempt. India’s Mars mission success has received immense praise from all over the world.
MOM was intended mostly to prove that India could succeed in such a technical endeavour.
Children across India were asked to come to school by 6:45 a.m. on Wednesday, well before the usual starting time, to watch the historic event on state television.
Facts and statistics
- Cheaper than Hollywood movies-Mangalayan was more cost-effective than any other Mars space mission carried out by the west. ISRO beats the world to be the most budget-friendly. According to one estimate, when distributed over the population of 1.2 billion, the effective cost per person is a mere Rs 4 only. Mr. Modi and others have noted that India’s trip to Mars at a price of $74 million is lower than the budget of the Hollywood movie “GRAVITY” which cost $104 million.
- First Asian nation to reach Mars and the first country to get success in the maiden attempt- After failed attempts by China and Japan, India proved to be the superpower in the technological arena by becoming one of the few countries and first in Asia to study the Red planet. Before India’s Mangalyaan no other country has been successful to enter the Martian orbit in its first attempt.
- Indigenous equipments- All the scientific instruments, manpower and technology used in the mission were mostly indigenous. Most of the instruments were provided by companies like Larsen & Toubro and Godrej India. It also demonstrated India’s intellectual and technological advancements to the whole world.
Objectives of the mission
One of the main objectives of the first Indian mission to Mars is to develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations for an interplanetary mission.
Following are the major objectives of the mission:
A. Technological Objectives:
- Design and realisation of a Mars orbiter with a capability to survive and perform Earth bound manoeuvres, cruise phase of 300 days, Mars orbit insertion / capture, and on-orbit phase around Mars.
- Deep space communication, navigation, mission planning and management.
- Incorporate autonomous features to handle contingency situations.
- Scientific Objectives:
- Exploration of Mars surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian atmosphere by indigenous scientific instruments.
ISRO’s success in the mission to the Red Planet is creditworthy and a justifiable reason for national pride and celebrations. This triumph of ISRO will prove to be a benchmark for India`s future exploits in the universe. Heartiest congratulations to ISRO for achieving this commendable feat.