HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

10 things you might have missed about the Mars Mission

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 05, 2013
First Published: 17:38 IST(5/11/2013) | Last Updated: 19:35 IST(5/11/2013)

India's first mission to Mars blasted off successfully on Tuesday, completing the first stage of an 11-month journey that could see the country's low-cost programme win Asia's race to the Red Planet. Here are 10 key facts about the mission:

  •  Mangalyaan’s Tuesday launch coincides with Mangalvaar, the day of Mars, called Mangala in Indian astronomy.

  •  The 1,350-kg orbiter weighs much less than an average sports utility vehicle.

ISRO's launch vehicle carrying the Mars Orbiter probe, moments after lift-off, in Sriharikota. (Nathan G/HT Photo)

  •  At Rs. 450 crore ($73 million) India’s mission is the cheapest — Nasa’s MAVEN (launch: November 18) costs nine times as much ($679 million i.e. Rs. 4,188 crore); Mars Rover cost $400 million; Curiosity, $2.5 billion.

  •  Mangalyaan was completed in one- and-a-half years; Nasa took five years for MAVEN.

  •  In Isro’s 44-year history, this is its first-ever launch outside the Earth’s sphere of influence.

  •  Programme director Mylswamy Annadurai, project director S Arunan, and Isro Satellite Centre director SK Shivkumar oversaw design, development of orbiter.

  •  A day before the mission, Isro chief K Radhakrishnan placed a scale model of the launch vehicle, the PSLV-C25, at Lord Vishnu’s feet in Tirumala.

  •  Mangalyaan will search for methane (marsh gas), the main component in natural gas and a possible indicator of life.

  •  Other objectives are atmospheric and particle environment studies and surface imaging.

  •  The probe is expected to arrive in Mars orbit in September 2014, approximately at the same time as MAVEN.

ISRO's launch vehicle carrying the Mars Orbiter probe, moments after lift-off, in Sriharikota. (Nathan G/HT Photo)

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