India’s very first interplanetary space exploration mission has proved to be successful as the orbiter it launched last year finally positioned itself near planet Mars.
The ambitious endeavour of conquering space has lured yet another country: India. It has now carved itself a place near Mars amidst the United States, the former Soviet Union and the European Space Agency. India launched its space probe which had as destination the orbit of Mars – the first space mission of the like of the country has been named Mars Orbiter Mission, MOM. Today morning (local time), 24th of September, the orbiter positioned itself in the planned spot near Mars.
The satellite is named Mangalyaan, which means “Mars craft” in Hindi. It was launched in November 2013 by the Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO). It has been travelling at a speed of 13.7 miles per second, and has now settled into the appointed destination. The mission was a risky one: had the rocket engine not tuned the speed of the satellite to the desired one, the space vehicle could have crashed. Less than half of the 51 probes having been launched since 1960 have actually been successful – so, India is considered to have done a major feat.
The project was made possible by an investment of just $ 73 million, as PM Narendra Modi explained. Even NASA’s newest Mars probe cost around $ 671 million, while the European Space Agency had pooled in $ 386 million for a similar project. The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, thus expects to have India poised as the world leader in inexpensive space exploration.
The Indian PM stated that: “We have gone beyond the boundaries of human enterprise and innovation.” They boast of having maneuvered the vehicle along a route which is not known to most. Moreover, India is the first country having reached the orbit of Mars on a maiden journey.
The NASA has congratulated the Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) for the brilliance behind the project on Twitter.
Now, the probe is to map the surface of Mars, and search for any sign of life.