Mangalyaan has had a dream run so far. But pushing it into the Mars orbit could be a tricky operation. The ISRO mission control will have to slow down the satellite and hope it gets drawn into the orbit by the gravity of Mars.
To slow it down, the satellites on board the rocket motor are fired for several minutes. The gravity of Mars then captures Mangalyaan. In case the satellite cannot be captured by Mars, it will be lost in outer space. (Read: Want a Selfie With Mangalyaan? Try This New Mobile App)
But Indian Space Research Organisation, or ISRO, is high on hopes of success, which has marked the progress of the project so far. (Read: India's Mars Orbiter, Mangalyaan Clears Crucial Test)
"We have to be relaxed if we have to take tough decisions and manage critical operations," said K Radhakrishnan, Chairman, ISRO, Banglaore.
Fast tracked by ISRO, Mangalyaan was made in just 15 months at a cost of Rs 450 crore - the cheapest inter-planetary mission ever to be undertaken. (Read: Mangalyaan, the Cheapest Mars Mission Ever)
The rocket that carried India's first unmanned satellite to Mars was as high as a 15-storey building and weighed nearly 320 tonnes - almost as much as 50 full-grown elephants.
The Mars Orbiter first made several revolutions around the Earth as it gathered enough velocity, and then it was shot onwards to Mars on its long journey. One after the other, four stages of the rocket had ignited, taking Mangalyaan higher into space.
Once in the Mars orbit, Mangalyaan will look for signs of life on the Red Planet, asking that big question: Are we alone in this universe?
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