Mangalyaan. India launches maiden Mars mission from Sriharikota.
India’s maiden mission to Mars was successfully launched today with its polar rocket placing the Mars spacecraft precisely into an intended Earth orbit in its first-ever historic inter-planetary odyssey in a bid to join a select band of nations.
In a “new and complex mission design”, ISRO’s PSLV C 25 successfully injected the 1,350-kg ‘Mangalyaan’ Orbiter (‘Mars craft’ in Hindi) into the orbit around Earth some 44 minutes after a text book launch at 2.38 PM from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here, marking the successful completion of the first stage of the Rs 450 crore mission.
Entering a new frontier in space technology, Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO)’s mission is aimed at establishing India’s capability to reach the Red Planet and would focus on looking for presence of methane, an indicator of life there.
After going around Earth for 25 days in an elliptical orbit (perigee of 250 km and apogee of 23,500 km), the golden coloured probe, the size of a small car, would embark on a 10-month long voyage to Mars around 12.42 AM on December 1.
It is expected to reach the Red Planet’s orbit by September 24 next year and go around in an elliptical orbit (periapsis of 366 km and apo-apsis of 80,000 km).