Basic Astronomy

Success in the maiden attempt

India's Mars Orbiter Mission creates history

24 September 2014: India made history on Wednesday morning, becoming the first country in the world to place a spacecraft to Martian orbit on the very first attempt and also the first country in Asia to achieve this success.

The success of Indian Space Research Organization's (ISRO) Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), brings India into an elite club of Martian explorers that includes United States, the European Space Agency and the former Soviet Union.

MOM started orbiting the orbit of Mars at 7.47am. But only 12 minutes later, because the radio signal took that time to travel 680 million km, scientists of ISRO broke into wild cheers.

Mars Orbiter Mission
The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is India's first mission in Mars and it is Asia's first successful mission in the red planet (Image Credit: ISRO)

The prime minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi was present at ISRO at that time and he congratulates the ISRO scientist. He said that "History has been created today. We have dared, to reach out, into the unknown".

The scientists had waited for more than 300 days as MOM traveled through space, but the last 54 minutes were the very important and tough time. Because at that time the spacecraft reoriented itself and then fired its engine and thrusters for about 24 minutes to get into the Mars orbit.

The spacecraft goes round Mars on an elliptical orbit. The closest point is about 420km and the farthest is around 80,000km. It carries 15kg of payload which contains five different scientific instruments for scientific research.

The goal ofMOM is to study the Martian atmosphere, Mars' surface features, morphology and mineralogy. The mission is equipped with five indigenous scientific instruments. The main goal of the mission is to look for methane in Martian atmosphere. Presence of methane in Martian atmosphere will prove presence of ancient life in the planet.

(Page editor: Dusmanta Patra)

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