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India opened a new chapter in its space exploration program with the launch of their first-ever space craft to Mars, marking the span of the nation’s space and interplanetary research activities. The rocket bound for Mars blasted off from Satish Dhawan Space Center located in the Southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched a rocket carrying a Mars orbiter with the help of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C25 on Tuesday, November 5, which will travel in space for the next ten months before reaching the Red Planet.
According to the Times of India the Mars orbiter will circle around the earth until November 30, where it will be fired up for a second time, pushing it towards the red planet.
If the mission is successful, India will be the fourth space program in the world to reach the Red Planet after the United States, ESA and Russia. The orbiter is named Mangalyaan, meaning Mars craft, and is a 1337kg satellite that cost $73 Million to make and is expected to reach Mars’ orbit by September 14, 2014.
According to the New York Times, after 44 minutes of launch, Mangalyaan separated from the rocket and entered into an elliptical path around the Earth, and is expected to investigate the Red Planet’s atmosphere and landscape for six months.
According to CNN, ISRO is hoping to unearth explanations for loss of water on Mars, mapping sources of methane gas and gathering information about the two moons Deimos and Phobos.
For many centuries, the mysteries of the universe has enthralled mankind and inspired attempts and successes in the discovery of its creation, but only in the last century has space exploration been able to shed light on the tangible details of the universe.
It is surprising to witness India’s ambitions within space exploration, aiming for the surface of Mars, because so far major activity within space research and Mars expeditions has been sponsored and run by America and Russia. Unfazed by the failures of China and Japan on similar missions to Mars, ISRO took a giant leap of faith, directly into the interplanetary orbit by launching their very first Mars expedition.
Space exploration is highly regarded in India and considered a national pride and scientific ingenuity. It is considered a scientific masterpiece, redefining the nation’s curiosity towards space.
Indian mission to Mars is considered a marvelous maneuver, displaying India’s advancement in space technology and its capacity to undertake big missions.
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