Space Odyssey 2013: India's Mission Mars

The journey begins for Mangalyaan. It was born in a `clean room' of the Indian Space Research Organization's satellite fabrication centre in Bangalore and after extensive testing it has now been despatched on its first and slowest journey by road to India's space port at Sriharikota some 80 km north of Chennai on the coast of the Bay of Bengal.

Photo Credit: ISRO
Space Odyssey 2013: India\'s Mission Mars
A team of over 500 scientists laboured for 15 months to make this `Tata Nano' car sized satellite seen here being moved from the satellite centre.

Photo Credit: ISRO
Space Odyssey 2013: India\'s Mission Mars
Mangalyaan is essentially a technology demonstrator to show case India can reach distant Mars. Till date the only country to succeed on its steam to reach mars is USA. Space ventures are risky and a third of the 45 odd missions to Mars till date have failed.

Photo Credit: ISRO
Space Odyssey 2013: India\'s Mission Mars
The Mangalyaan satellite also carries on it 5 specialized instruments that can `see, smell and taste' the Martian atmosphere searching for signatures of life, especially looking for the first `unambiguous' proof of the existence of methane gas, on Earth this is usually a by-product of life but can be of geological origin as well.

Photo Credit: ISRO
Space Odyssey 2013: India\'s Mission Mars
Mangalyaan seen here golden wrapped in its special thermal blanket is a 1350 kilogram robotic mission to study mars, it will have to survive thermal extremes.

Photo Credit: ISRO
Space Odyssey 2013: India\'s Mission Mars
Mangalyaan mission is all about boosting India's national pride and to try and outpace its regional rival China in reaching Mars. Russia, Japan and China have made failed attempts to reach mars. Only USA and the European Space Agency have successfully reached mars.

Photo Credit: ISRO
Space Odyssey 2013: India\'s Mission Mars
The Indian made `Mangalyaan' satellite has been exposed to the harsh and inhospitable conditions it is likely to face on its long and arduous journey by simulating the radiation filed vacuum in which the space craft will travel for about a year.

Photo Credit: ISRO
Space Odyssey 2013: India\'s Mission Mars

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