MOM completed one month in Martian Orbit
Google Doodle Reminds Indians
New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO’s) recently launched Mangalyaan has completed a month in the Martian Orbit. A small, but significant milestone, that Google reminded India through its doodle showing graphic depiction of Mangalyaan in space.
ISRO’s Mangalyaan started its long journey on November 5, 2013 and completed the first longest successful journey to Mars on September 24, 2014. It travelled 666 million km in over 10 months before it successfully entered the Mars orbit. The journey was monitored by ISRO, NASA and other stations around the world. The most inexpensive interplanetary space mission, costing 4.5billion rupees (about $74 million) brought much pride to India. Especially, considering that, India succeeded in its first attempt that even Americans and Russians could not achieve. In Asia too, it gives India, a pride of place, considering China was unsuccessful in 2011.
Mangalyaan sent to earth the first set of pictures, 20 days after its launch -of Phobos – the largest of the two natural satellites that orbit around Mars. Phoboswas nearing Mars at a rate of 1.8 m every hundred years and it would either crash into the red planet in 50 million years or break up into a ring, says US National Space Agency. The first picture was followed by regional dust storm activities over northern hemisphere of Mars – captured by Mars Color Camera.The image was taken from an altitude of 74500 km from the surface of Mars.
The projected lifespan of MOM is six months before it runs out of fuel. Meanwhile it is expected to look for:
- Methane, a key chemical that will help find if life can sustain on Mars.
- Check if there was once water on the planet, as is widely believed; if it has water and not just ice reserves as it is believed, then it becomes the only planet to be so.
- The pictures of the surface of Mars will help the study of texture and soil.
- Check for the presence of natural gases.
- Help to understand the effect of solar radiation.
- The study of the journey itself will help ISRO develop newer technologies and space research.