A Voyage To Mars, Mangalyaan
Right from the ’60s space agencies around the globe have shown a keen interest in grasping more and more about our red neighbor Mars. A possible candidate for future habitation, scientists are currently figuring out ways of terraforming mars. It started with the Mariner 4 launched by NASA and is still going on today, even developing countries like India have engraved their names amongst the countries which made it to Mars, and they did it in an unconventional way about which this article is about.
A Brief Introduction
MOM(Mars Orbiter Mission) also called Mangalyaan is a space probe mission launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) on 5 November 2013. It took about one year to make it till mars. This mission made ISRO the fourth space agency after Roscosmos, NASA, and the ESA which completed a successful mission to Mars, and also the first country which did it on its maiden attempt. It was launched from the Satish Dhawan space center, Andhra Pradesh. The spacecraft carried five scientific instruments and is being monitored from Spacecraft Control Centre, Bengaluru.
What makes it different?
The fact which sets Mangalyaan apart from its contemporaries is its effective cost-cutting. It cost only $74m(₹4.5 billion), about 10 times cheaper than the American Maven orbiter. This cost-cutting was made possible by preferring indigenously developed components over expensive foreign ones. Moreover, the payload has been kept small( 15 kg). Of Course, it has its own disadvantages like it won’t be as scientifically capable as its contemporaries. But the mission has a specific agenda of measuring the methane present in the martian atmosphere and taking quality pictures of the martian surface. This data would be used to investigate the existence of methane-producing creatures(bugs and microorganisms) that may perhaps exist on Mars.
Reaction by the public
It was well accepted and appreciated by space agencies all around the world, and also by the people of India. It has made the whole country proud. But there have been a few criticisms like India should focus more on education and sanitation, and space aviation should be better left to the wealthy western countries, but the overall acceptance has been good.
After the successful commencement of Mangalyaan, India is planning to launch it’s Mangalyaan 2 in 2024. Most probably this time the mission would also consist of a lander and a rover. So all it remains for us now is to wait and see what ISRO comes up with.