Mom Inserted Into Mars Orbit
The Mars Orbiter Mission(MOM), or Mangalyaan was successfully inserted into Mars’ orbit on the 24th of September 2014 with the help of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). This gives India the distinction of not only being the first nation to send a satellite into Mars’ orbit in its first attempt, but also the first Asian nation to successfully send a satellite to Mars. This combined with the fact that MOM cost India only a tenth of what NASA incurred to insert its satellite into Mars’ orbit, makes this achievement a source of great pride to the nation.
India’s first interplanetary mission was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota on a PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) on the 5th of November 2013. The satellite, weighing around 1,350 kg was on an elliptical orbit around the Earth for a month before it set off towards Mars.
The objectives of the MOM are to study Mars’ surface features, mineral compositions and atmospheric conditions using indigenously developed instruments. The mission also serves to showcase India’s capabilities in indigenously developing, planning and launching an interplanetary mission. Apart from being a feat in itself, this latest milestone could help open up the highly lucrative space technology market to India.