India’s first orbiter mission to Mars was recently set in motion; at the cost of $69 million USD, this project seeks to develop as well as showcase means necessary for interplanetary missions. On November 5, India’s Mars orbiter was launched – if successful, this will mark the fourth time a space agency gets to Mars, preceded only by the Soviets, NASA, and the European Space Agency.
Also known as Mangalyaan, India’s Mars orbiter mission was developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which spent the past two years working on this major project. The organization’s hopes for this mission include exploring the surface of Mars itself as a secondary matter; the main objective, however, is working on and advancing the technology of interplanetary flight. Studying the planet’s composition is on the to-do list. Another emphasis is the search for methane – a possible indicator of the presence of other life forms.
So far, some issues have occurred with India’s Mars orbiter mission; engine troubles and failure of firing devices may have caused delays in the mission, but so far, the spacecraft itself is safe and highly functioning. Currently still circulating the orbit of the Earth, India’s Mars orbiter is expected to enter outer space in the beginning of December this year.
Set to arrive on the crimson planet on September 24, 2014, India’s Mars orbiter mission is a new step for the nation and for the world alike. As science advances at a rapid exponential rate, new possibilities arise for humankind. Will India’s Mars orbiter make it to destination unharmed? What potential discoveries lie within this mission? These and other questions will be answered in time, as the world excitedly follows the movement and development of India’s Mars orbiter mission.
Direct updates can be retrieved from ISRO’s Facebook page, which is updated daily with important news regarding the mission.
– Natalia Isaeva