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India India's Historic Voyage To Mars !


Sep 24, 2013
India launches rocket in hope of joining elite Mars explorer club
By Dave Gilbert, CNN

See video at the link above including lift-off!

London (CNN) -- India has launched a rocket it hopes will allow it to join an elite group of space explorers to Mars.

The country's space research organization (ISRO) launched its orbiter to the Red Planet on Tuesday -- only NASA, the former Soviet Union and the Europeans have previously been successful in operating probes from Mars.

Japan made an attempt with the Nozomi orbiter in 1998 but it failed to reach the planet and a Chinese probe was lost along with the Russian Phobos-Grunt mission in January 2012. The UK's Beagle 2 probe separated from the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter in 2003 but nothing was ever heard from the lander.

It will take 10 months for India's Mars Orbiter Mission to reach the Red Planet after lifting off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre near Chennai. The probe will explore the planet's surface features, minerals and atmosphere.
Open Mic: India's Mars mission

ISRO is hoping to discover more about the loss of water from Mars, map the sources of methane gas, as well as collecting data about the two moons Phobos and Deimos.

But ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan told CNN that one of the biggest technological challenges was just getting there. Many missions have failed to reach the planet while others have crashed on the surface or contact has been lost before the probes could send back data.

India's space program launched its first Earth satellite in 1975 and put an unmanned probe into orbit around the Moon in 2008. It plans to launch its own manned spaceflight in 2016, though an Indian cosmonaut, Rakesh Sharma, flew aboard a Soviet space mission in 1984.

The U.S. is aiming to build on the success of a series of robots that have roamed the surface of the Red Planet when it launches its own orbiter mission called Maven -- Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft -- scheduled to launch on November 18.

The European Space Agency is working with the Russians on an ExoMars rover that is due to start its mission in 2018.

But private companies are also proposing trips to the Red Planet -- and some of them are only one-way.

The Mars One project wants to colonize Earth's neighbor, beginning in 2022 and the Inspire Mars Foundation wants to launch a man and a woman on a 501-day round-trip in 2018 without ever touching down.


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1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Related coverage

India starts historic mission to Mars
T.S. Subramanian

PSLV puts Mars orbiter precisely into earth-orbit; trip to the Red Planet will take more than 300 days

The nation’s prestigious interplanetary mission to Mars, 40 crore km away, got off to a flying start on Tuesday when the Indian Space Research Organisation’s trusty Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C25) roared off the first launch pad of the spaceport at Sriharikota at 2.38 p.m. and put the Mars orbiter precisely into its earth-orbit about 44 minutes later.

This was the first crucial and difficult step in the ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission. However, the XL version of the PSLV achieved it with aplomb. The elliptical orbit achieved was so accurate that against the predicted perigee of 250 km and an apogee of 23,500 km, it went into an orbit of 246.9 km x 23,566 km.

The spacecraft first going into orbit around the earth signalled the start of its 300-day voyage to the Red Planet. If everything goes well during this complex and challenging journey through deep space, it will be put into the Mars orbit on September 24, 2014.

Mission highlights

Two mission highlights are: it was the longest PSLV mission at 44 minutes — the previous missions lasted about 18 minutes, and this was the silver jubilee lift-off of the PSLV. Out of the 25 launches, 24 had been successful in a row.

Suspense filled the newly-built Mission Control Centre (MCC) when there was a long coasting phase of 25 minutes between the PSLV’s third stage burnout and the fourth stage ignition.

Tension gripped the MCC again for about half-a-minute for it was only 37 seconds after the fourth stage burnout that the spacecraft was put into orbit. But all this was as planned.

The ISRO scientists’ cup of joy overflowed when M.S. Pannirselvam, Range Operations Director, PSLV-C25, announced tersely from the MCC, “Spacecraft separation achieved. It has been successfully put into orbit.”

Asked later how he felt when he made the announcement, he said, “We had no feeling. We were doing our job.”

Applause erupted when ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan, who did not hide his joy, turned towards his colleagues in the MCC and acknowledged their cheers with folded hands. He called the flight a copybook and textbook mission. It was a new and complex mission in design and execution, he said.

Project Director of Mars Orbiter S. Arunan called it an “excellent mission.” The primary and secondary panels and the high gain antenna of the spacecraft had been deployed. “The spacecraft is in good heath,” he said.

Yash Pal, former Member of the Space Commission, called the successful mission ISRO’s “very very special gift to the nation.”

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Jul 4, 2004
And Now ONLY if INDIA were to launch a Mission to SIKHS....right here in India...after 30 YEARS..the SIKH MISSION has failed to reach its Target...wouldnt THAT be an achievement and a JOY to 15 Million of its Citizens..this SIKH MISSION will take just a few moments of apology in Parliament..and bring in 15 million aggrieved citizens back into mainstream:):cheerleaders:


Apr 4, 2005
I personally think India needs flush toilets and a modern sewage system a whole lot more than they need a rocket shot at Mars.
ISRO did not use public funds to build it. It was their profit which they earned through selling weather data, renting out transponders to telecom and DTH companies.Infact if successful this will be very big achievement



Sep 24, 2013
Hanji anticipated that the India Mars mission would be somewhat controversial. Space exploration programs also are lightening rods in the west where many feel that funds can be used better to address social problems - poverty, malnutrition, homelessness, infant mortality to name a few. It was good to read that India could launch a program and a satellite more quickly and more cost-efficiently than the US. Something they are doing they are doing right.

National pride is important too! After living for some time in the west Hanji realizes that it is often difficult to understand how India's place and presence among emerging eastern powers matters. India's place and presence in the end will contribute to the willingness of both Indians and non-Indians to invest in economic projects that will benefit the poor.

Thus this thought

How the Mars Mission Helps India

by Paliava Bagla

"National pride is important. If the Mars mission succeeds, it will be a big morale booster for India. We are not in a space race," says SK Shivakumar, director of Isro's Bangalore-based satellite centre.
High risks

The risks can be high in a space race.

Since 1960 about 40 missions to Mars have been launched, more than half of which have failed. And no nation - apart from Mars Express, Europe's maiden venture to Mars representing 20 countries - has succeeded in its maiden venture.

Though India says its Mars mission is the cheapest inter-planetary mission ever to have been undertaken in half a century of space exploration, some are questioning its scientific purpose.

"This is a highly suboptimal mission with limited scientific objectives," says D Raghunandan of Delhi Science Forum, a think tank.

Others like economist-activist Jean Dreze have said the mission "seems to be part of the Indian elite's delusional quest for superpower status".

Rejecting such talk, a top government official says: "We have heard these arguments since the 1960s, about India being a poor country not needing or affording a space programme.

"If we can't dare to dream big it would leave us as hewers of wood and drawers of water! India is today too big to be just living on the fringes of high technology."

Pallava Bagla is a correspondent for Science and science editor for New Delhi Television.


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
A mission update!

India Mars probe makes first engine burn

By Paul Rincon

After a successful launch on Tuesday, India's Mars spacecraft has carried out the first of six crucial engine firings in Earth orbit.

The probe performed the firing with its liquid fuel thruster at 19:47 GMT on Wednesday (Thursday 1:17 IST).

The aim is to gradually build up the necessary velocity to break free from our planet's gravitational pull.

If the firings succeed, the spacecraft will travel for 300 days, ready for entering Mars orbit in 2014.

K. Radhakrishnan, head of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), told the Times of India that the spacecraft was in "excellent health".

Mars mission payloads

  • Lyman Alpha Photomoter (LAP): measures amount of hydrogen and deuterium which will help scientists understand the loss of water from Mars
  • Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA): Studies the neutral composition of the upper atmosphere
  • Mars colour camera: Takes images of the surface of Mars and its satellites Phobos and Deimos
  • Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer: Measures thermal emissions and helps map surface composition and minerals

After lift-off, the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) was placed into an elliptical parking orbit around Earth with a perigee (the point in the orbit closest to Earth) of 248.4 km and an apogee (the point farthest away) of 23,550 km.

The six major thruster firings are designed to manoeuvre the MOM into a so-called hyperbolic trajectory so that the probe escapes the Earth's sphere of influence.

After a 10-month journey, the probe will arrive at Mars on 24 September next year. The engine will be fired again to slow down the spacecraft, enabling it to be captured by the planet's gravity and place it into Martian orbit.

Four further manoeuvres between 8 and 16 November will raise the craft's apogee to 192,000km.

"It's going to be a large sequence of events," said Mr Radhakrishnan.

On 1 December, the engine will be fired again for its "trans-Martian injection", sending the craft on its way to the Red Planet.

This week, Prof Andrew Coates, from University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory, told BBC News that the planned mechanics for getting to Mars were on a sound footing, and that the probe stood a good chance as long as its engines fired correctly.

But any delay in these operations would require precious extra fuel to be used to catch up with the desired path to Mars.

India's PSLV rocket - the second choice for the mission after a beefier launcher failed - was not powerful enough to send the MOM on a direct flight to Mars.

So engineers opted for a method of travel called a Hohmann Transfer Orbit to propel the spacecraft from Earth to Mars with the least amount of fuel possible.

At a cost of about $72m (£45m), the MOM is extremely cheap by the standards of planetary missions.

Even so, some commentators have questioned whether India should be spending its millions on a planetary mission when a significant part of its population are in poverty and figures for childhood malnutrition are some of the highest in the world.
Nov 14, 2008
...wouldnt THAT be an achievement and a JOY to 15 Million of its Citizens..this SIKH MISSION will take just a few moments of apology in Parliament..and bring in 15 million aggrieved citizens back into mainstream:):cheerleaders:

PM Mr Manmohan Singh Apologized in Indian Parliament 2005 .

Manmohan apologises to Sikhs for ’84 riots
“I bow my head in shame that such a thing took place”
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 11
Seeking to assuage the sentiments of the Sikh community, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today apologised on behalf of his government for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, saying he was not standing on any “false prestige” and his head bowed in shame.

Intervening in the discussion on the Opposition-sponsored motion in the Rajya Sabha on the Nanavati Commission report, the Prime Minister said he had no hesitation in apologising to the Sikh community. “I apologise not only to the Sikh community but to the whole nation, because what took place in 1984 is a negation of the concept of nationhood enshrined in our Constitution. I am not standing on any false prestige. On behalf of our government, on behalf of the entire people of this country, I bow my head in shame,” Dr Singh said.
The Prime Minister said he had seen statements by Opposition leaders that he should seek forgiveness of the country.
The Prime Minister said he had accompanied Congress President Sonia Gandhi to Harmandar Sahib some five or six years ago. “We together prayed that give us strength and show us the way that such things never take place again in our country.”
Urging members not to play politics on the 1984 tragedy, he said, “The past is behind us. We cannot change it, but we can write the future. We must have the will power to write a better future for all of us.” Describing the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as a “great national tragedy,” he said, “What happened subsequently was equally shameful.”
“We must try to find new ways so as to ensure that the country does not go this way again. Whether Gujarat or any other part of the country, such incidents should not recur,” he said.
Referring to some individuals mentioned in the Nanavati report, he said the commission has not come forward with conclusive conclusions. “These are in the realm of probabilities”.
However, he said the government would reopen cases, including those against policemen, wherever it was possible under the law. “Whosoever figures in the Nanavati report and the commission has drawn an adverse inference about their conduct or behaviour, we will reopen those cases,” he said.

He promised assistance to all widows, children and the affected families so that they can lead a life of dignity and self-respect.
The Prime Minister charged the Opposition with trying to separate the Sikh community from “the great traditions of the Congress party.”
Dr Singh said the progress achieved by post-Partition Punjab would not have been possible without the leadership provided by country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. “It is also a fact that when that glorious chapter in the history of Punjab was being written, the Akali Dal was busy dividing the people of Punjab on communal lines.”

He said after the Akali Dal came to power in Punjab in 1967, the result was there to see. Appealing to political parties “not to play politics with the sentiments of a brave community like the Sikhs,” he said everyone should help in letting the community to get out of the trauma of 1984.
“Let us not do anything that will reverse the trend....Let us also do nothing to weaken its spirit.”
He said several commissions have gone into the lapses of 1984. “We all know that we still do not know the truth, and the search must go on. This present commission is no exception to that,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the Nanavati Commission has nailed the lie that top Congress leaders were involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. “This lie has been used for the past 21 years to poison the minds of Sikh youths. This lie stands nailed conclusively,” he said.

Recalling that it was late Rajiv Gandhi who provided a new deal to Punjab by signing an accord with Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, Dr Singh said after the 1984 tragedy, the uppermost thing Rajiv Gandhi had in his mind was how to bring Punjab back into the national mainstream.
He also recalled how late Indira Gandhi rejected the suggestions to change her Sikh bodyguards, saying she had no doubts about their sincerity and integrity. “Who can forget the sacrifices of this family,” he said.
He said everyone should work steadfast for mutual reconciliation.
“I respectfully submit that this is not achieved by pursuing partisan goals, apportioning blame”, he said. Dr Singh said in he framework of open society and open economy, there should be respect for all. “There have been aberrations but to err is human.”

Recalling how Nanavati Commission was set up by the previous NDA government, Dr Singh, who was then Leader of House in the Rajya Sabha, said his party had no choice with regard to the Commission’s terms of reference or on who was going to head it.
Referring to the era of terrorism in Punjab, he said it was country’s leadership that did not allow any wedge between the Sikhs and the mainstream and did not allow designs of the nation’s enemies to succeed.

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