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ISROs Mars mission creates history for India


India created history on 24 September 2014 by becoming the first country to successfully
send a spacecraft into Mars orbit on its very first attempt. The mission executed by
countrys space agency ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) became successful after
the first signal of MOMs success was confirmed from NASAs ground station in Canberra,
With this ISRO became the fourth space agency in the world to reach Mars. The other three
agencies are:
a) European Space Agency (ESA) of the European consortium
b) National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the U.S.
c) Roscosmos of Russia
India also became the first Asian country to successfully execute a Mars mission.

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Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) and its how it worked :

MOM stands for Mars Orbiter Mission. It is Indias first interplanetary mission. It basically
comprised of a 1350-kilogram unmanned robotic satellite that has also been unofficially
called Mangalyaan or Marscraft. MOMs dry mass is 500 kg (1,100 lb), and it carries
852 kg (1,878 lb) of fuel and oxidiser. Its main engine, which is a derivative of the system
used on Indias communications satellites, uses the bipropellant combination
monomethylhydrazine and dinitrogen tetroxide to achieve the thrust necessary for escape
velocity from Earth.
MOM commenced its journey to the red planet Mars on 5 November 2013 through a launch
from the First Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota, in Andhra
Pradesh. The launch was done through ISROs reliable Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)
C25 rocket.
After going around Earth for 20-25 days in an elliptical orbit, the Rs. 450-crore orbiter began
its nine-month long voyage to Mars around 12.42 am on 1 December 2013. On this day
MOM ventured out of Earths sphere of influence to begin its 300-day journey to Mars. It
executed the Trans-Mars Injection manoeuvre, in which the Mars Orbiter Mangalyaan
teared itself away from Earths gravitational pull to begin its 680-million Km journey to the
red planet. During this manoeuvre, the spacecrafts 440 Newton liquid engine was fired for
about 22 minutes providing a velocity increment of 648 meters/second to the spacecraft.
The MOM finally reached its destination the Mars orbit on 24 September 2014. The
orbiters propulsion system, called the Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM), erupted into life at 7.17
a.m. after remaining dormant for 300 days during the spacecrafts journey to the Red Planet.
With this the orbit entered into most crucial manoeuvre called Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI).
This meant for lowering the spacecraft into the Martian orbit, with a peri-apsis of 423 km
and an apo-apsis of 80,000 km. The manoeuvre ended successfully at 7.41 a.m., thus
enabling India to make history.
Main objectives of MOM
The primary objective of the Mars Orbiter Mission is to showcase Indias rocket launch
systems, spacecraft-building and operations capabilities.
The primary objective is to develop the technologies required for design, planning,
management and operations of an interplanetary mission, comprising design and realisation
of a Mars orbiter with a capability to perform Earth-bound maneuvers, deep-space
communication, navigation, mission planning and management and to incorporate

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autonomous features to handle contingency situations.

Cheapest-ever mission to Mars
When the MOM successfully entered the orbit of Mars, many across the world were
dumbstruck at the low cost of the mission. This golden satellite, approximately the size of a
Nano car, and the entire Mars Orbiter mission have been made ready at a record cost of
Rs. 450 crore or nearly $67 million dollars. Put together by the ISRO in a record time of 15
months, it has been on a 300-day marathon, covering some 670 million kilometres to reach
its destination Mars. This is undoubtedly the lowest-cost inter-planetary mission ever to be
undertaken in the world. The darling of Martian dreamers American rover Curiosity which
has been sitting on the surface of the Red Planet cost over a whopping 2 billion dollars.
Prominent recent international missions to Mars
NASAs Mars Odyssey orbiter entered Mars orbit in 2001
The Mars Express mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) reached Mars in 2003
NASA twin Mars Exploration Rovers named Spirit (MER-A) and Opportunity (MER-B)
landed on the surface of Mars in January 2004
NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) probe arrived in orbit to conduct a two-year
science survey on 10 March 2006
The Mars Science Laboratory mission was launched on 26 November 2011 and it delivered
the Curiosity rover, on the surface of Mars on 6 August 2012.
NASAs Maven slipped into Mars orbit on 22 September 2014, just two days before ISROs
MOM. Maven stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN.

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