MOM-entous occasion for India as Mangalyaan reaches Mars orbit

The country joined the United States, European Space Agency and the former Soviet Union in the elite club of Martian explorers with the Mars Orbiter Mission. HT interactives : Ride the Mangalyaan | MOM sensors
By Sudipto Mondal and Vanita Srivastava | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 25, 2014 01:04 PM IST

The Mars orbiter spacecraft started sending its first high quality images of the Red Planet late on Wednesday, Isro sources said, allaying fears that the missions cameras had failed.

“Images are clicked. Data is downloaded. Process is going on,” a top Isro official said, replying to a question on whether the spacecraft had taken pictures of Mars’ surface.

India's Mars Orbiter spacecraft has sent five pictures of the red planet's surface, said a senior Isro official. "The Mars Orbiter has started sending pictures. We have received five pictures and these are under processing," the official said, preferring anonymity.

Images were expected to arrive in the afternoon but there was no news about it till evening causing some concern.

Earlier on Wednesday, India created history by becoming the first country to succeed on its first Mars mission when Isro's Mangalyaan slipped into Martian orbit after a few nail-biting moments.

The country joined the United States, European Space Agency and the former Soviet Union in the elite club of Martian explorers with the Mars Orbiter Mission, affectionately called MOM.

"History has been created by our scientists", said PM Narendra Modi in his speech immediately after the scientists declared the mission a success. "We have dared to reach out to the unknown."

"When our cricketers win a tournament, we celebrate in a big way. What these scientists have achieved is thousand times bigger," he added.

Read: From lighter rocket to slingshot, Isro innovates its way to Mars

Earlier, there were some tense moments at the Indian Space and Research Organisation (Isro), which commanded a series of tricky manoeuvres to position the spacecraft in its designated orbit around Mars.

The insertion started at 4.17am when the spacecraft switched over to the medium gain antenna for providing the communication link during the insertion. At 6.56am, the spacecraft initiated the process of forward rotation, reducing its speed.

Watch:

5 Things You Must Know About Mars Orbiter Mission


Read:

Knew MOM will be a success, says PM Modi

At 7.17am, the scientists had to grapple with the most critical moment — when the liquid apogee motor had to be fired. The motor was woken up for four seconds on Monday during a test-fire after 300 days of long sleep.

The motor was fired for 24 minutes, reducing the velocity of the spacecraft by 4.2km per second in relation to Mars. This was soon followed by moments of tension and anxiety when the communication broke as the spacecraft slipped behind Mars as the scientists waited for the good news.

At 7.45am, the occult ended and after two minutes, communication with the spacecraft resumed and data was flashed about the performance of the liquid apogee motor.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Isro scientists after the mission met with success.

HT interactives : Ride the Mangalyaan | MOM sensors

Most of MOM’s Mars orbit insertion happened in the dark because the spacecraft was around the surface of the planet that did not receive sunlight.

Mangalyaan, which relies on homegrown technology, is a remarkably low budget mission of about $75 million. Nasa's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission, or Maven, which reached its position around the Red Planet on Sunday has a price tag of $671 million - nearly nine times that of MOM's.

Scientists at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory had wished their Indian counterparts luck a day ago. “Good luck MOM. From your JPL family,” read the message posted on Isro’s Facebook page.

Read:India expands boundaries of knowledge with Mars Orbiter Mission

India's feat gains significane in the light of the fact that more than half the world's previous attempts - 23 out of 41 Mars missions - have failed, including attempts by Japan in 1999 and China in 2011.

"India has become the first Asian country to do the Mars mission. This also is a reflection of the growing space race between India and China as well as in the broader Asian context," senior researcher Dr. Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan said.

India has said its spacecraft is chiefly meant to showcase the country's high-tech space abilities. Already, India has successfully launched a lunar orbiter, Chandrayaan-1, which discovered key evidence of water on the Moon in 2008.

Read:Reaching Mars: How it happened

Read: Bollywood lauds India's date with the red planet

MOM's scientific goals including using five solar-powered instruments to gather data that will help determine how Martian weather systems work and what happened to the water that is believed to have once existed on Mars in large quantities. It will also search Mars for methane, a key chemical in life processes on Earth that could also come from geological processes.

None of the instruments will send back enough data to answer these questions definitively, but experts say the data will help them better understand how planets form, what conditions might make life possible and where else in the universe it might exist. Some of the data will complement research expected to be conducted by Maven.

The Isro Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) facility in Byalalu, 55 kilometres from Bangalore, along with other global centres is tracking the spacecraft. A confirmation call through a hotline from Canberra, which is the station in position to receive the first signals came in at around 8.10 am

The spacecraft is expected to circle the planet for at least six months, following an elliptical orbit that gets within 365 kilometers (227 miles) of the planet's surface at its closest and 80,000 kilometers (49,700 miles) at its farthest.

Nasa congratulated India in a Twitter message, welcoming MOM to studying the Red Planet.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
BJP national president JP Nadda. (File photo)
BJP national president JP Nadda. (File photo)

BJP chief Nadda may visit Lucknow on January 21

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Smriti Sinha
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 09:01 AM IST
He is expected to also meet ministers, MPs and MLAs to discuss issued related with the government and the organisation
Close
A replica of Ram Mandir (Ayodhya) installed inside a mall, in New Delhi. (Representational image/PTI)
A replica of Ram Mandir (Ayodhya) installed inside a mall, in New Delhi. (Representational image/PTI)

Hindu non-profit org Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat contributes Rs1 crore for Ram Mandir

PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 08:54 AM IST
The VHP’s nationwide campaign, Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Ram Mandir Nidhi Samarpan Abhiyan, for the construction of Ram Mandir started on January 15 and will continue till February 27
Close
Supreme Court-appointed panel on farm laws to hold first meeting on Tuesday(PTI)
Supreme Court-appointed panel on farm laws to hold first meeting on Tuesday(PTI)

News updates from Hindustan Times: SC-appointed farm laws panel to meet today

By hindustantimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 08:52 AM IST
Here are today’s top news, analysis and opinion at 9am. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
Schools and colleges have remained shut since March 2020 in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic which has infected more than 10,571,700 people so far.(HT_PRINT)
Schools and colleges have remained shut since March 2020 in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic which has infected more than 10,571,700 people so far.(HT_PRINT)

Schools for class 10, 12 resume in Tamil Nadu: All you need to know

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shivani
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 08:50 AM IST
Strict Covid-19 protocols have been put into place by school authorities for Cass 10 and 12 students.
Close
Ex-IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt has been convicted and sentenced to life by a Jamnagar court.
Ex-IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt has been convicted and sentenced to life by a Jamnagar court.

Indian American organizations urge Supreme Court to give bail to Sanjiv Bhatt

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 08:47 AM IST
Senior Congress leader and former minister Shashi Tharoor said he was “outraged by the injustice meted out” to Bhatt. The top court has scheduled a bail hearing for Bhatt on January 22.
Close
IMD scientists said monsoon in 2020 was unique with large month-on-month variation and unusual rainfall patterns in four sub-regions of the country. (Raj K Raj/HT file)
IMD scientists said monsoon in 2020 was unique with large month-on-month variation and unusual rainfall patterns in four sub-regions of the country. (Raj K Raj/HT file)

This monsoon, IMD to begin special forecast for rain-fed areas

By Jayashree Nandi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 08:31 AM IST
IMD will also use a multi-model ensemble forecast (a combination of different models) for the first time to predict monsoon rains this year
Close
A view of the Noida Gate after farmers blocked Chilla (Delhi-Noida border) during the ongoing protest against the new farm laws, in Noida on Monday. (HT Photo)
A view of the Noida Gate after farmers blocked Chilla (Delhi-Noida border) during the ongoing protest against the new farm laws, in Noida on Monday. (HT Photo)

Farmer’s protest: Delhi’s Singhu, Tikri borders remain completely blocked

PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 08:27 AM IST
Apart from Chilla and Ghazipur borders, seven borders that continue to remain completely blocked, are Singhu, Tikri, Auchandi, Jharoda, Piao Maniyari, and Mangesh borders
Close
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jairam Thakur casts his vote in Mandi in the first phase of panchayat elections on Sunday.(ANI Photo)
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jairam Thakur casts his vote in Mandi in the first phase of panchayat elections on Sunday.(ANI Photo)

Second phase of panchayat polls in Himachal Pradesh today

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 08:14 AM IST
In the first phase, 1,227 panchayats went to polls on Sunday. Electoral Officer Sanjeev Mahajan said a voter turnout of over 70 per cent was recorded in the first round.
Close
A worker disinfects the poultry farm in Shivapur village to protect chickens from bird flu decease. (HT Photo )
A worker disinfects the poultry farm in Shivapur village to protect chickens from bird flu decease. (HT Photo )

Bird flu confirmed in 5 states for poultry, culling operations underway

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 08:13 AM IST
The central team formed for monitoring the situation in the affected areas of the country is visiting the bird flu affected sites.
Close
Fog shrouds parts of the national Capital, at the Ghazipur area in New Delhi. (File photo)
Fog shrouds parts of the national Capital, at the Ghazipur area in New Delhi. (File photo)

Dense fog reported from most northern states; temperature likely to drop

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Smriti Sinha
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 08:12 AM IST
Due to the change in wind direction, minimum temperatures are likely to fall by 2 to 4°C during the next three days, leading to cold wave conditions
Close
Representational image. (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
Representational image. (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

Delhi’s temperature set to drop further, air to improve: IMD

UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 08:44 AM IST
The AQI in Delhi on Monday was 372, categorised as "very poor", a minor increase from 347 the previous day, according to Central Pollution Control Board
Close
Farmers raise slogans as they ride tractor during an ongoing protest against the new farm laws, at the Delhi-Ghazipur border on Monday.(ANI Photo)
Farmers raise slogans as they ride tractor during an ongoing protest against the new farm laws, at the Delhi-Ghazipur border on Monday.(ANI Photo)

Supreme Court-appointed panel on farm laws to hold first meeting on Tuesday

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 07:47 AM IST
The Supreme Court had on January 12 stayed the implementation of the three laws, against which farmers are protesting at Delhi borders for over 50 days now.
Close
File photo for representation.(ANI)
File photo for representation.(ANI)

13 killed, 6 injured after being run over by truck in Gujarat's Surat

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shivani
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 09:03 AM IST
"All the deceased are labourers and they hail from Rajasthan," the news agency reported quoting police.
Close
The Uttar Pradesh government has approached the Supreme Court seeking a transfer of the pending writ petitions from the Allahabad high court(PTI)
The Uttar Pradesh government has approached the Supreme Court seeking a transfer of the pending writ petitions from the Allahabad high court(PTI)

Transfer pleas on ‘love jihad’ law to Supreme Court: UP govt tells Allahabad HC

By Abraham Thomas, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 07:05 AM IST
The state government made the disclosure before the high court on Monday during the hearing of a bunch of pleas against the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020.
Close
Women farmers carry placards and flags during a protest against the new farm laws on the Women Farmer Day at Singhu Border, in New Delhi.(ANI)
Women farmers carry placards and flags during a protest against the new farm laws on the Women Farmer Day at Singhu Border, in New Delhi.(ANI)

LIVE: SC panel on farm laws to begin work on January 19

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 06:45 AM IST
On Monday, the Centre postponed the tenth round of talks between its representatives and farmers to January 20. Earlier it was scheduled for today.
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP