At 7:18 A.M. this morning, our nation made history as ISRO became the world’s first organization to successfully send a space shuttle to Mars at its very first attempt - making India the first Asian country to reach the Red Planet. It’s a proud moment for all of us, so read on to know some awesome facts about the Indian Mars Mission! #IndiaAtMars #MarsMission
Image source: twitter/MarsOrbiter
1. The mere $74 million budget for Mangalyaan is just a fraction of the amount that other countries have spent on similar projects. NASA spent $671 million on its MAVEN spacecraft that reached the planet earlier this week. In fact, most Hollywood films are made on higher budget, including the space thriller Gravity, which was made on a budget of $100 million!
2. India is the first Asian country to have successfully launched an orbiter into Mars, and the fourth entity after the USA, the European Space Agency and the former Soviet Union to do so. Apart from India, no one else has managed to succeed on their first attempt!
3. Only about 42% of the 51 probes sent to Mars since 1960 have completed the mission - which definitely puts India into an elite club!
4. NASA, which helped India with communications on the current mission, congratulated ISRO. Mangalyaan and NASA's Maven are simultaneously orbiting the Red Planet.
5. With the Mars Orbiter Mission (affectionately referred to as “MOM”!) successfully entering the Red Planet's orbit, ISRO on Wednesday also launched the MOM's official Twitter handle, @MarsOrbiter. (However, the ISRO Twitter feed is a way more active and informative one!)
6. The spacecraft first entered the Martian neighbourhood on Monday, at which time the signals of MOM’s orbital insertion took approximately 12 minutes and 28 seconds to travel to Earth for reception by NASA’s Deep Space Network Stations in Canberra and Goldstone, which replayed the data live to ISRO’s station in India.
7. Mangalyaan is expected to circle the planet for six months, about 500km above its surface and the data will be sent back to Earth. Solar-powered instruments will help determine how the weather systems works and what happened to the water that was believed to have existed on Mars in large quantities. The orbiter will also search for methane, a key chemical in life processes on Earth.
Featured image: ISRO
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