I hope that the news of India’s Mars Orbiter Mission which launched into the Mars orbit today is making a lot of good noise around the world. It makes me feel very proud. Although I have not been following it all that keenly, but now that the mission has made such a splash with its success, let’s do a quick round up of cool facts about the mission.
- The spacecraft is also called Mangalyaan, which literally translates from Sanskrit or Hindi as ‘Mars Craft’ or ‘Mars Vehicle’ (‘Mangal‘ or ‘Mangala‘ = Mars, ‘Yaan‘ = craft, vehicle). Wikipedia explains further about the astrological connotation of ‘Mangala‘.
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) hence joins the inner circle, so to say, being one of only four space agencies (U.S, Russian & European) to achieve this feat.
- India is the first country to successfully send a Mars orbiter in it’s maiden attempt.
- The orbiter was launched from the Sriharikota launch centre on 5th Nov. 2013 and completed the orbital insertion today, 24th Sept. 2014.
- At $74million, it is by far the cheapest Mars mission ever. Checkout the comparison depicted in the picture below which is doing the rounds on all news sites. As pointed out by PM Modi, this is quite a few dollars less than the $100million Hollywood movie ‘Gravity’. Way too cool, I must say!