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)






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