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Mangalyaan's objectives: What will Mars Orbiter Mission achieve?

Dailybhaskar.com   |  Nov 05, 2013, 04:59AM IST
New Delhi: The Rs 450-crore Mangalyaan mission is all set to be launched from Sriharikota on Tuesday. The mission is expected to orbit around the Red Planet for six months. It will take 300 days for the spacecraft to reach the outer surface of the planet.
The mission, apart from its intended purpose of technology demonstration, will conduct several scientific probes on the surface of the planet.
The main objective of this first Indian mission to Mars is to develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission, comprising the following major tasks:
-Orbit manoeuvres to transfer the probe from Earth-centered orbit to heliocentric trajectory and finally capture into Martian orbit.
-Development of force models and algorithms for orbit and attitude computations and analyses.
-Navigation in all phases.
-Maintain the probe in all phases of the mission meeting power, communications, thermal and payload operation requirements.
-Incorporate autonomous features to handle contingency situations.
-The main objective of MOM is to showcase technology capability to reach Mars and collect data for future space missions.
"India's space program is ultimately intended as a capability demonstration. It is designed to put India 'out there' with other space-faring nations, and this is reflective of Indian ambitions to increase its international profile more generally," Zalewski, South Asia analyst at Control Risks was quoted by CNBC.
-The probe will help the scientists of the nation develop satellite technology for India that was used for the benefit of the undeserved; it will help in bringing classrooms and health care to remote areas and mapping water resources for well.
-Apart from that the mission will of course map the surface of the Red Planet, which has remained a mystery till now. It will collect information about the planet's atmosphere and surface, when it is expected to enter the Martian orbit on September 24, 2014.
-India’s orbiter — should it make it all the way to Mars — will carry a sensor that could help detect the presence of methane, a gas produced by living microbes. If found, the presence of methane could answer the question that has dogged scientists for years: Is there life on Mars?
-The mission will help the nation advance its defence technology. Space technology, including missile and satellite technology,  is becoming increasingly critical to modern defense systems.
-The Indian spacecraft shares some scientific objectives with America's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission (Maven), scheduled to be launched in next two weeks.
-Both the spacecraft are equipped with sensors that will help in examining the processes that have drastically thinned the Martian atmosphere, which was once thick enough to allow substantial bodies of liquid water to exist on the planet’s surface.
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