Martians be advised, India is coming !
This is a very proud moment for every Indian as India’s maiden Mars Orbiter Mission (MoM), also called Mangalyaan will lift-off at 14:38 hours IST today, November 5, 2013 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The official countdown began at 06:08 hours on November 3, 2013.
Mangalyaan will be riding the PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) C25, India flagship launch vehicle.The PSLV has already clocked two decades of space victories and is now ready for its Silver jubilee mission carrying its most prestigious payload. India’s foray into interplanetary missions and space exploration is set to leapfrog with this launch.The mission is a “technology demonstrator” project aiming to develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission.
This is yet another milestone for ISRO in space research. Preparations are in full swing at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre located in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, 80 Km north of Chennai. With this launch, India will attempt to become the fourth country (or group of countries) to reach the Red Plant, after the Soviet Union, United States and Europe.
Mangalyaan will spend about 20-25 days in Earth’s orbit before spending nine months in travel to Mars, arriving in late September 2014.
No country has been successful to reach Mars at the very first attempt. More than 50% of the world’s attempt to reach Mars have failed, i.e. 23 out of 40 missions. Mangalyaan will look to beat the odds and become India’s maiden successful Mars mission.
The mission cost is Rs. 450 Crore. ISRO says the satellite which will be placed in an elliptic orbit around Mars will carry 15 kg of scientific instruments mentioned below:
Lyman-Alpha Photometer (LAP) — a photometer that measures the relative abundance of deuterium and hydrogen from Lyman-alpha emissions in the upper atmosphere. Measuring the deuterium/hydrogen ratio will allow to estimate the process of water loss to outer space.
Methane Sensor For Mars (MSM) — will measure methane in the atmosphere of Mars, if any, and map its sources.
Particle environment studies
Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyzer (MENCA) — is a quadrupole mass analyzer capable of analyzing the neutral composition of particles in the exosphere.
Surface imaging studies
Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS) — will measure the temperature and emissivity of the Martian surface, this can allow mapping surface composition and mineralogy of Mars.
Mars Colour Camera (MCC) — will provide images in the visual spectrum, providing context information for the other science instruments
According to ISRO, the objectives of the mission are to focus on remotely assessing “life, climate, geology, origin and evolution and sustainability of life on the planet”. “This is a technology demonstration project, a mission that will announce to the world that India has the capability to reach as far away as Mars, says Mr. K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of ISRO.
The live telecast of the Mars Orbiter Mission, Mangalyaan will be broadcasted today on Doordarshan from 14:00 Hrs (IST). ISRO will also broadcast the launch on its website.