26 Sep 2014

India makes a mark in Mars


  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists and engineers watch Prime Minister Narendra Modi on screens after the success of Mars Orbiter Mission, in Bangalore on Wednesday, September 24, 2014.
    Reuters Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists and engineers watch Prime Minister Narendra Modi on screens after the success of Mars Orbiter Mission, in Bangalore on Wednesday, September 24, 2014.
  • ISRO scientists celebrate the success of Mars Orbiter Mission at their Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network complex in Bangalore.
    AP ISRO scientists celebrate the success of Mars Orbiter Mission at their Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network complex in Bangalore.
  • A screen grab of Mr. Modi addressing the scientists after news of success of the Mission
    A screen grab of Mr. Modi addressing the scientists after news of success of the Mission
  • Indian Space Research Organisation scientists and other officials cheer as they celebrate the success of Mars Orbiter Mission at their Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network complex in Bangalore on, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014.
    AP Indian Space Research Organisation scientists and other officials cheer as they celebrate the success of Mars Orbiter Mission at their Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network complex in Bangalore on, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014.
  • Scene at the ISTRAC Mission Analysis Centre, Bangalore. Photo: Madhumati
    The Hindu Scene at the ISTRAC Mission Analysis Centre, Bangalore. Photo: Madhumati
ISRO's Mars orbiter becomes first spacecraft to enter Martian orbit in maiden attempt
From 'Congratulations ISRO' to 'Howdy Curiosity' here's how India's Mars Mission scored big on Twitter.
15.02: Nimisha (@nim2391); Bhakt Repeller (@BhaktRepeller); Sherin Johnson (@i_sherin) ask how is the Mars Mission going to impact common man's life.
Executing an interplanetary mission is no simple feat. Being able to do it provides the impetus for more investment in space research as well as could herald an uptick in foreign investment. Expansion of spacefaring capabilities means development of better launch systems to launch more sophisticated scientific payloads, as well as, in the long run, giving India a foot in the door when it comes to hardcore interplanetary exploration and colonization, far though in the future that may be.
14:59: Many Bollywood stars took to Twitter to congratulate ISRO on its historic feat. Read here
14:56: Question from Facebook follower Dharmateja Challa: Will the data will be made public ? It would be great if they do so for scientific community?
Depends on institutional plans for the data because each instrument on the payload has been designed and manufactured by different institutions around India, led by various scientists. If the corresponding institute has plans to release data, then sure.
14.50: Mr. Mallikarjuna Konduri (@elKondorPasa) asks: will ISRO use rest of fuel for gaining a stabler orbit and extend the mission period?
Mission period doesn't depend on orbit stability as far as extension is concerned.
13: 30: Facebook follower Gautam Reddy: Now that ISRO is competing on par with it's contemporaries, Is ISRO having any plans for a Space Station?
There are no known plans for a space station. That would be too ambitious considering the kind of resources such an installation requires.
11.57: Satheesh Sellam (@SatheeshSellam) asked us this question: If we have successful cryo GSLV vehicle, the complexity of taking the satellite out of earth gravity is considered less?
We've had one successful test of the cryogenic engine. It's too soon to say how future missions will pan out, although that one test was encouraging. Also, having such an engine doesn't make it easier in the general sense but gives us the ability to launch heavier - and therefore more sophisticated - payloads into orbit, especially the geostationary transfer orbit.
11.36: Vaibhav Pratap Singh (@NooseVP) had posted a question on Twitter to us asking the difference between ISRO's Mars orbiter and NASA's Maven. Here's the answer:
There are some overlaps in terms of MAVEN's and MOM's objectives. Both are equipped with instruments that will provide a clearer picture of the Martian atmosphere. The Curiosity rover's next phase of operations includes investigating the possible presence of life in Mars' history and this means finding signs of water by looking for minerals that could have formed only in the presence of water. MAVEN will assist in this by looking for isotopic signatures, which is something MOM will do as well. The reason both probes are there right now is because of a certain window that comes once in 26 months that reduces the distance between Earth and Mars, making it a good opportunity to launch probes in this window.
10.45: "The periapsis achieved was 427 km and the apoapsis was 78,500 km. The final values will be obtained after several hours," Mission Director, MOM, V. Kesava Raju says. Read here
10.15:
10.10: Watch: India scripts history with Mars Mission
10.06: India’s first rocket launch pad, the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station, Thumba, Kerala, was in a coconut plantation. A local church served as main office, the bishop’s house was converted into a workshop and a cattleshed the research lab! Surely, we’ve come a long way!
10.00: Mars Orbiter Mission: Timeline of events
9. 34: Home Minister Rajnath Singh wishes Team ISRO
9. 20: Now that it’s delivered a payload into orbit around a neighboring planet, the Indian Space Research Organization, ISRO, has convinced the world it can also plan and execute long-term missions and the associated logistical nightmares. Read In Depth aticle about the mission
8.47:
8.36: PM Modi concludes his speech with quote from Tagore.
8.35: This achievement is far greater than a cricket win: PM Modi
A screen grab of Mr. Modi addressing the scientists after news of success of the Mission
8.33: India is now the first country to succeed at a Mars Mission in the first attempt & cheapest cost: PM
8.29: Modern India must continue. Through your achievements, you have honoured our fore-fathers, and inspired our future generations: PM Modi
8. 28:
8.23: Our efforts have historically focussed on ultimate objective of nation-building: PM Modi
8.22: Through your achievements, you have honoured our fore-fathers, and inspired our future generations: PM Modi
8.13:
8: 12:
8.05: PM Modi felicitates the scientists. "Scientists have gone beyond the boundaries of humar enterprise."
7.59: Occultation over. Mars Mission successful, ISRO Chairman confirms.
7: 53:
7.48: The firing must have been completed by now and MOM must be turning towards Earth to resume communication.
7.46: The spacecraft is now out of range of radio signals. It has gone behind Mars, in what is called as occultation/eclipse.Occultation is loss of signal due to the orbiter being on the 'dark side' of Mars.
7.38: In about half hour, ISRO is expected to get the first confirmation from NASA's ground station in Canberra, Australia.
7.31: All engines of the Mars orbiter are going strong. Burn start confirmed. Scientific community celebrate the confirmation message.
7.17: Burn must have started. All engines must have started firing by now. Stand by for confirmation. The LAM and the eight thrusters will fire together for 24 minutes to perform the MOM’s most crucial manoeuvre called Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI) to lower India’s spacecraft into the Martian orbit, with a peri-apsis of 423 km and an apo-apsis of 80,000 km. The manoeuvre will end at 7.41 a.m.
ISRO Chairman Dr. Radhakrishnan and Director and chariman of Spacecraft Authorisation Board Kiran Kumar waiting for confirmation of the Burn.
7.16: Mars Orbiter is now in the shadow of Mars.
7.12: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at ISRO to witness the historic event. ISRO Chairman Dr. K. Radhakrishnan welcomes the PM
7.11: Mars Orbiter start of forward rotation is confirmed: ISRO
7.08: The Liquid Engine Burn is set to begin in a few minutes now.
7.02: Here's all you need to know about the Mars Orbiter Mission
6.56: Forward rotation must have begun, ISRO says. It is required to align the direction of firing for effective braking. Confirmation will reach after 12.5 minutes.
6.50: ISRO Chairman, in an exlcusive interview to The Hindu, talks about the agency's Plan A and Plan B for MOI. Read here
6.43: The result of Mars Orbit Insertion will be available only at about 8:30 a.m.
6.35: The orbiter’s propulsion system, called the Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM), will erupt into life at 7.17 a.m. after remaining dormant for 300 days during the spacecraft’s journey to the Red Planet.
6.31:
(Image courtesy: ISRO)
6.24: An exclusive interview with ISRO Chairman Dr. K. Radhakrishnan ahead of the MOI manoeuvre.
6.19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Bangalore late Tuesday and is expected to stay in the ISTRAC complex till 9 a.m. and address Team ISRO.
6.15: Will India be able to lower its spacecraft into the Martian orbit in its debut attempt? The answer will be available around 8.15 a.m. today.

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