Mission Mangalyaan: A look back in time

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on November 05, 2019

File photo

The Mars Orbiting Mission was launched on November 5, 2013

Exactly, six years ago, on this day, India's tryst with the 'Red Planet' began with the launch of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM). Six years, later in 2019, the probe is still orbiting and sending useful pictures.

Also known as the Mangalyaan mission, the Rs 450 crore project was a daring effort by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), to attempt an inter-planetary journey. The PSLV rocket, placed the probe on its path on November 5, 2013 and after a long and ardous trip it reached the destination in September 2014.

Planned for just six months, the MOM, has beaten everybody's expectations and turned in a  'Bahubali' type performance, sending a wide and rich array of pictures, even after completing five years. A big achievement has been the preparation of a Martian Atlas using the thousands of images sent by MOM, says, K Sivan, Chairman of the ISRO.

Asked about the MOM project, K Radhakrishnan, the former Chairman of ISRO, who was leader of the mission said, "Its a very satisfying feeling that the orbiter has been a great success. Its still in good health and active".

The success of Mangalyaan, was a big talking point for the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and a strong reason to back the ISRO and several of the its missions, including Chandrayaan-2, Gaganyaan, and multiple launches every year since 2014. It also triggered Bollywood movies, with one starring Akshay Kumar."

A stellar achievement of MOM, what that India not only became the fourth nation after US, Russia and EU to reach the Red Planet, but do it in the first attempt. It was hailed as the most cost effective mission, being cheaper than NASA's Maven Orbiter and also some Hollywood big budget movies of the time. 

When is Mangalyaan-2? The ISRO chairman. Sivan says work is in progress, though a firm date has not yet been fixed. The MOM is continuously sending pictures, is healthy and still has some time go, he added.

Published on November 05, 2019

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