India has successfully placed Wednesday the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), known as Mangalyaan in Mars orbit, as reported by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). India thus became the first Asian nation to get successfully to the red planet failed -Japan in 1998 and China in 2011 and the fourth space power to do so, after the United States, Russia and Europe. MOM ‘s mission is also the cheapest trip to date at a cost of 56 million euros.
With the arrival of the MOM operational, Mars is now operating five ships in orbit: the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), the Mars Odyssey and newcomer Maven, the three NASA and the Mars Express, the European Agency Space Agency (ESA). On the surface they are working Curiosity and Opportunity, both from the American agency.
The main objective of the Indian mission is to test and verify technology and operations in an interplanetary mission like this. In addition, the probe carries a camera and scientific instruments to take data from the planet’s atmosphere and surface. Probe is expected to operate in Mars orbit between six and 10 months. The MOM, designed and built by ISRO, was released on 5 November last from the base of Sriharikota, with a rocket PSLV C- 25 also Indian. It has traveled 670 million kilometers to Mars.
For in-orbit operation there first thing in the morning on Wednesday (GMT), responsible for mission control had previously sent to the MOM orders to turn their engines for 24 minutes, at the exact moment and so slow for the atrapase Martian gravity. The radio now take 12 minutes to travel at the speed of light, between Mars and Earth. Communications with the probe during the entire operation has been made through the network of deep space antennas located in Madrid, Canberra (Australia) and Godstone (California), according to ISRO.
” The odds were against us. Among the 51 missions that have been launched so far only 21 were successful. We have achieved,” said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. ” All the credit goes to our scientists, even today our program is known for being more profitable. Our scientists have shown the world a new engineering paradigm and the power of imagination.”
“The time that our scientists have invested in this mission is even lower than that is dedicated to Hollywood movies,” stressed Modi referring to the 15 months of 1000 Indian researchers working on the project.
The American space agency NASA congratulated the ISRO for its success. Indeed, the American lunar probe Maven came two days ago in Martian orbit, mission significantly more expensive, with a cost of 518 million euro, although it is a more scientifically ambitious program.
India is expanding its space program in 2008 sent its first lunar probe and plans to launch in 2016 its first manned space mission.