Wednesday, September 24, 2014

India makes history with first spaceship to orbit Mars

India triumphed in its first interplanetary mission, placing a satellite into orbit around Mars on Wednesday morning and catapulting the country into an elite club of deep-space explorers.
Scientists broke into wild cheers as the orbiter's engines completed 24 minutes of burn time and maneuvered into its designated place around the red planet.
The success of India's Mars Orbiter Mission, affectionately nicknamed MOM, brings India into an elite club of Martian explorers that includes United States, the European Space Agency and the former Soviet Union.

"Today Mars has met MOM. MOM never disappoints. History has been created today," Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced amid applause at the Indian Space Research Organisation command center in Bangalore."We have gone beyond the boundaries of human enterprise and innovation."
"We have navigated our craft through a route known to very few," Modi said, congratulating both the scientists and "all my fellow Indians on this historic occasion."
The Indian Space and Research Organisation described the mission as flawless.
The success marks a milestone for the space program in demonstrating that it can conduct complex missions and act as a global launch pad for commercial, navigational and research satellites.
It's also a major feat for the developing country of 1.2 billion people, most of whom are poor. At the same time, India has a robust scientific and technical educational system that has produced millions of software programmers, engineers and doctors, catapulting many into the middle class.
More than half the world's previous attempts — 23 out of 41 missions — have failed, including one by Japan in 1999. The United States had its first success with a 1964 flyby by a spacecraft called Mariner 4, returning 21 images of the surface of the planet. The former Soviet Union reached the planet in 1971, and the European Space Agency in 2003.
India was particularly proud that MOM, a 1,350-kilogram (nearly 3,000-pound) satellite, was developed with homegrown technology and for a bargain price of about $75 million. NASA's much larger Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission, or Maven, which reached its position around the red planet on Sunday, cost nearly 10 times as much at $671 million.

  • MOM will now circle the planet for at least six months on an elliptical path that gets within 365 kilometers (227 miles) of the planet's surface at its closest and 80,000 kilometers (49,700 miles) at its farthest.
Five solar-powered instruments will gather data that will help determine how Martian weather systems work and what happened to the water that is believed to have once existed on Mars in large quantities. It also will search Mars for methane, a key chemical in life processes on Earth that could also come from geological processes.
None of the instruments will send back enough data to answer these questions definitively, but experts say the data will help them better understand how planets form, what conditions might make life possible and where else in the universe it might exist.

  • There are three more satellites already circling the planet — NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey, and the ESA's Mars Express. On the Martian surface, NASA's Curiosity and Opportunity rovers are rolling across rocky terrain. 
India has said the spacecraft — also called Mangalyaan, meaning "Mars craft" in Hindi — is chiefly meant to showcase the country's ability to design, plan, manage and operate a deep-space mission. India has already conducted dozens of successful satellite launches, including sending up the Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter, which discovered key evidence of water on the Moon in 2008. 
AP
 haaretz.com
24/9/14
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4 comments:

  1. Indiens Wettlauf zum Mars ...

    Schon der Start von Mangalyaan im vergangenen November hatte viele Millionen Inder fasziniert. Ihr Land fliegt zum Mars? Viele fanden das unglaublich. Jetzt, da es ernst wird, schauen sie wieder gebannt Sondersendungen im Fernsehen. Amitabh Pandey hat dafür keine Zeit. Er wird in der staatlichen Raumfahrtbehörde ISRO auf riesigen Bildschirmen jedes Signal auswerten, das die Sonde Mangalyaan ins südindische Bangalore schickt. Mangalyaan steht für indischen Pragmatismus, denn übersetzt heißt es nichts anderes als "Marssonde".

    "Die Mission wurde in kürzester Zeit vorbereitet, und sie ist richtig billig", schwärmt Pandey. "Aber für uns sind andere Dinge entscheidend. Es werden auch andere Staaten Raumschiffe zum Mars schicken. In 20 bis 30 Jahren wird es eine bemannte Mission geben. Und bis dahin muss der Planet umfassend studiert werden."
    Mission kostet weniger als 60 Millionen Euro

    Indiens Premierminister Narendra Modi ist extra nach Bangalore gereist. Er weiß, dass die Marsmission extrem prestigeträchtig ist. Sie kostet weniger als 60 Millionen Euro. Sogar der Hollywood-Weltraumfilm "Gravity" war teurer. Und die aktuelle amerikanische Marsmission kostet sogar zehn Mal so viel, obwohl ihr Auftrag sehr ähnlich sei wie der von Mangalyaan, sagt Pandey. "Wir werden den Mars so studieren wie andere auch. Was ist mit Wasservorkommen? Wie sind die Wetterbedingungen? Kann man dort irgendwie leben oder ist es möglich, den Planeten irgendwie zu besiedeln?".................http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/indien-mars-mission-100.html

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  2. India's first Mars satellite 'Mangalyaan' enters orbit....

    India has successfully put a satellite into orbit around Mars, becoming the fourth country to do so.

    The Mangalyaan robotic probe, one of the cheapest interplanetary missions ever, will soon begin work studying the Red Planet's atmosphere.

    A 24-minute engine burn slowed the probe down enough to allow it to be captured by Mars' gravity.

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country had achieved the "near impossible".

    Speaking at the mission control centre in the southern city of Bangalore he said: "The odds were stacked against us. Of 51 missions attempted in world only 21 have succeeded. We have prevailed."

    Only the US, Europe and Russia have previously sent missions to Mars, but India is the first country to succeed on its first attempt.

    The latest US satellite, Maven, arrived at Mars on Monday.

    US space agency Nasa congratulated its Indian counterpart, the Indian Space and Research Organization (Isro), on Wednesday's success.............http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28268186
    24/9/14

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  3. India's Mars satellite 'Mangalyaan' sends first images...

    India's space agency has released its first picture of Mars, taken by its satellite which entered orbit around the Red Planet on Wednesday.

    "The view is nice up here," tweeted @isro. A handful of images have been sent by the Mangalyaan probe so far.

    Part of its mission is to study the Martian atmosphere for signs of life.

    It is the first time a maiden voyage to Mars has entered orbit successfully and it is the cheapest. Nasa's latest Maven mission cost almost 10 times as much.

    Media in India have hailed the venture as a "historic achievement".

    The Hindu newspaper reported that the probe had "beamed back about 10 pictures of the Red Planet's surface which show some craters".

    Officials were quoted by the newspaper as saying the pictures were of "good quality".....................http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-29357438
    25/9/14

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  4. India's Mars mission will last for many years as it has so far not experienced any failures, a top space official has reportedly said....

    "Mars (mission) is expected to last for many years now because it has gone through solar conjunction also; so we don't see much of a problem," A.S. Kiran Kumar, chief of the state-owned Indian Space Research Organisation, told the media in the southern city of Bengaluru Monday.

    He added, "We had planned it only for six months. Then we were not expecting so much fuel to remain after we completed our insertion activity. There is still a lot of fuel, all other subsystems are working fine and so far we have not had any failures."

    India successfully launched its maiden mission to Mars on November 5, 2013, and the low-cost spacecraft was put into orbit around the red planet on its very first attempt on September 24, 2014.
    http://www.china.org.cn/world/2015-09/22/content_36651821.htm
    22/9/15

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