India, undoubtedly, is one of the rapid developing countries in the past few years. The country has tremendously advanced almost in every sector. In continuation to that advancement, the country now has started countdown for Mars Mission.
It was India’s one of the the biggest dreams that one day it would also send rocket to Mars like NASA and will mark a huge step in the area of science and technology. Following that dream, the Union Cabinet of India approved the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) on August 4, 2012. Later on 15 August, on the occasion of the 66th Independence Day, India’s current Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh made the first formal announcement of India’s MOM.
Since then, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) started to build Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C25), an extended version of ISRO’s warhorse rocket, that will fly to Mars. It weighs 1.35 tons. However, this first Mars orbiter is now in the last stages of readiness, with propellant being filled into the fourth and last phase of the rocket.
For studying the Mars, MOM is equipped with 15 kg (33 lb) of instruments. These include a Lyman-Alpha Photometer (LAP), which is an absorption cell photometer that measures the relative abundance of deuterium and hydrogen in the Martian upper atmosphere and will be used to determine the rate that Mars loses water to space. There is also a Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM), which measures methane in the Martian atmosphere in parts per billion – an experiment that has drawn considerable interest after NASA’s Curiosity rover failed to detect any trace of the gas.
The other three instruments are the Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyzer (MENCA), which is a quadrupole mass analyzer to study the composition of the upper atmosphere, a Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS) that will map the temperature of the Martian surface, and the Mars Colour Camera (MCC) that will be used to study the surface features and composition of Mars and its moons Phobos and Deimos.
Last Sunday at 6:08 IST, the ISRO began the countdown for MOM. If all goes according to schedule, this unmanned probe will lift off on Tuesday, Nov 5, from the First Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Center (SHAR), on the island of Sriharikota at 2:38 pm IST (0938 GMT) atop PSLV-C25. NASA will help ISRO with ground monitoring from three deep-space facilities after the launch. Once launched, the spacecraft will traverse 400 million km and finally will reach to the Martian orbit on September 24 (approximate), 2014.