Mangalyaan Makes History: Top 10 Facts

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Mangalyaan Makes History: Top 10 Facts

ISRO staff celebrate after Mangalyaan successfully enters the Mars orbit (Agence France-Presse photo)

Bangalore:  Mangalyaan, India's maiden Mars mission, successfully entered the planet's orbit today, in a historic moment for India's space programme. "History has been created," said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who watched the spacecraft successfully enter the Mars orbit this morning.
Here are 10 facts about the mission
  1. By placing Mangalyaan in the Mars orbit, India joins the US, the European Space Agency and Russia in the elite club of Martian explorers. China and Japan have failed.
  2. The Mars Orbiter Mission was achieved on a budget of $74 million, nearly a tenth of the amount the U.S. space agency NASA spent on sending the Maven spacecraft to Mars.
  3. Apart from India, no other country managed to succeed on their first attempt. "We have gone beyond the boundaries of imagination," said PM Modi.
  4. After completing the 666 million km journey in more than 10 months, the spacecraft will now study the red planet's surface and scan its atmosphere.
  5. The expected life of the craft is six months, after which it will run out of fuel and will not be able to maintain its orbit.
  6. Mangalyaan, which is the size of a Tata Nano car, was launched in November, 2013, aboard India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C25 rocket.
  7. The mission is meant to test India's ability to place a craft in Martian orbit and technologies required for a future interplanetary mission.
  8. The Mars Orbiter first made several revolutions around the Earth as it gathered enough velocity, and then it was shot onwards to Mars.
  9. Five solar-powered instruments aboard Mangalyaan will gather data to help determine how Martian weather systems work and what happened to the water that is believed to have once existed on the planet in large quantities.
  10. The global scientific community is very excited about India's effort to send the first dedicated methane gas sensor to Mars. The presence of Methane gas, also called 'marsh gas', on Earth is one of the clinching signs of the presence of carbon-based life forms.




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