India is all set to launch its Mars mission from the Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) centre at Sriharikota on Tuesday. If it goes well,India will join the league of countries like America,Russia and Europe to undertake a successful Mars mission.
The important move by India is being watched by the world. Here are some of the highlights of the Mars mission of India:
Distance to Mars: 400 million km
Duration of journey: 300 days
Launch time: 23 minutes as the rocket will be visible to ISRO through its own ground for this period.
Mars orbit insertion date: September 12,2014
Next major date: November 30,when the aircraft will begin its journey to Mars. Before this date,it will continue to revolve around Earth
Cost of mission: Rs 450 crore
# Orbit manoeuvres to ensure final capture into Martian orbit
# Development of force models and algorithms for orbit and attitude computations and analyses
# Maintain the probe in all phases of the mission,meeting power,communications,thermal and payload operation requirements
# Look for methane on Mars,for detection of life on the planet
EYE ON THE SKY
# During the launch,the Mangalyaan Mission will be tracked by two specially equippeed Shipping Corporation of India ships–Yamuna and Nalanda,positioned in the South Pacific Ocean.
# During its journey from Earth to Mars,the MarsOrbiter will be tracked using the Indian Deep Space Network at Baylalu on the outskirts of Bangalore and sea-borne S-band terminals.
# At the time of the Mars capture in September 2014,tracking and communication with the satelite will be done using the 70-metre antenna of NASA’s deep space network at Canberra in Australia.
S K Shivakumar: The Director of the ISRO Satellite Centre,which built the Mars Orbiter and spacecraft. An engineer from the Indian Institute of Science,he was earlier the head of ISRO’s telemetry,tracking and command network,ISTRAC.
Dr Mylswamy Annnadurai: The Programme Director of IRS & SSS (Indian Remote Sensing & Small,Science and Student Satellites) at ISRO,he was the project director of the Moon Mission and is overseeing the one to Mars as well.
P Kunhikrishnan: He is the Mission Director for the launcher. From the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram,Kunhikrishnan has seven successful PSLV launches under his belt since 2009.
S Arunan: The Project Director for the Mars Orbiter. For the senior scientist with the ISRO Satellite Centre,the Mars Mission is a maiden venture as Project Director. His team created the Mars Orbiter for ISRO in 12 months and is now bracing for sleepless nights as the mission approaches countdown.
Dr V Kesavaraju: The Mission Director for the post-launch operations. A team led by Dr Kesavaraju of the ISRO Satellite Centre will monitor the Mars Mission following its launch,including tracking it in outer space.