Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) – India – “Promise of Prosperous Progress.”
November 5, 2.38 p.m. (IST) , from Sriharikota, ANDHRA PRADESH, india launches its maiden satellite to Mars – Mars Craft or Mangalyaan as christened here – , an Interplanetary Mission. (As at 3.25 p.m. now everything is according to plan says ISRO, the Contractor).
A 300 day, 485 million-mile journey; Worth Rs 450 Crores; 1350 kg Robotic Satellite; Payload mass 15 kg; Power : Solar cells.
Success will mean India will be the FOURTH Space Agency in the World to have sent a mission to the Red Planet. U.S.A.; Russia; and Europe being the other three agencies to have achieved this before.
According to NASA there have been 51 missions so far by some countries, only 21 have been considered successful.
Experts describe this as the cheapest Inter Planetary Mission ever to have been undertaken in half a century of Space exploration (India).
Mission holds Quintuple Objectives : 1. A sensor to track methane gas (a sign of possible life); 2. Color camera(s) for taking pictures; 3. Thermal Imaging Spectrometer to map the surface & mineral wealth of the planet; 4. Analysis of martian Atmosphere; 5. To spot any new ways for future.
This is a boost to India’s status in the World Space arena.
Will this be the defining moment in our aim to beat China in the space race, many are already pondering. Remember : A Russian mission carrying a Chinese satellite to Mars failed in November 2011. Japan failed in its attempt in 1998.
When we succeed we should see if (a) we can engage in collaborative International Deep Space Missions; (b) we can develop Technologies for Design, Planning, Management, and Operations of an Interplanetary Mission; (c) whether the 300 day journey can be compressed further. These three factors, I feel, will be critical to Future explorations/missions.
Naysayers are already out to undermine the intent and worth of this exploration. Strepitant clamour is already filling the air freely with questions as (a) Is it necessary ? (b) Are there not issues critical for more attention ? Hope these will be submerged when the mission starts delivering even an iota of what was promised. Also, when this starts igniting the young minds in Space Science & Space Journeys.
Launch is successful; Journey sure is long; Space programs and space applications get a boost; Verdict remains to be passed; And, ‘a coup sur’, every Indian can be proud of this moment.
The “Tale of Mangalyaan” is a salute to all those involved in this arduous effort. It is a mission “well-defined; well-derived; well-developed; well-desired; and well-directed”.
Judgement as of now : “Path Defined; Race Run; Only Rights to be Conferred.”
‘Dieu avec nous’
Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 4.05 p.m. (IST)