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Mangalyaan Mission: A huge leap into space

The project was nothing short of any miracle and helped India to join an elite club of space-faring nations to have accomplished this significant achievement.

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India has become only the 4th country in the world to successfully complete a Mars mission. Wikimedia Commons
India has become only the 4th country in the world to successfully complete a Mars mission. Wikimedia Commons
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NEW DELHI: The success of Indian Mars Orbiter Mission popularly known as Mangalyaan, is an astonishing success for India. The mission was undertaken by Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO) back on November 5, 2013. The whole mission was carried out well with clockwise precision and perfection.

Afterwards, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, congratulated the whole team of people involved in it and said, “History has been created.” The project was nothing short of any miracle and helped India to join an elite club of space-faring nations to have accomplished this significant achievement.

ISRO is the mastermind behind Mangalyaan mission. Wikimedia Commons
ISRO is the mastermind behind Mangalyaan mission. Wikimedia Commons

India has leaped many folds in the space research with its astonishing success of Mars mission that was undertaken by ISRO. After the deployment of the orbiter in the Martian orbit, India went on to become only the 4th country in the world to successfully complete a Mars mission.

Here are some of the highlights of the Mangalyaan mission that you need to know:
1. India is the only country to conduct a successful Mars mission in its first go.
2. The other nations who have conducted a similar Mars mission are US, European Space Agency, and the former Soviet Union.
3. The on-orbit mission life of Mangalyaan was less than ten months
4. The primary focus of the mission was to ascertain the information on Martian Climate and water. Also, the orbiter is expected to explore more about planet’s environment and minerals.

Magalyaan looked out for indications of life on Mars. Wikimedia Commons
Magalyaan looked out for indications of life on Mars. Wikimedia Commons

5. The Mangalyaan was equipped with five solar powered panels to generate enough power to stay afloat.
6. The closest point of orbiter from Mars was 365 km and farthest as 80,000 Km
7. The time taken to complete the Mangalyaan orbiter was 15 months. Whereas, N.A.S.A. took 5 years to complete its “Maven” Mars Orbiter.
8. NASA assisted India in administrative operations and non-visible time of the Indian Deep Space Network.
9. The responsibility of navigational and mission operations was on Indian Deep Space Network.
10. The total dry weight of the Mangalyan shuttle was 500 kg and separately engine fuel weighed about 850 kgs.

Mangalyaan weighs 1,350 kgs and was ready in 15 months. Wikimedia Commons
Mangalyaan weighs 1,350 kgs and was ready in 15 months. Wikimedia Commons

11. The cost of the mission was mere Rs450 crores, that stands out at Rs12 per km. And hence with this budget, the Mangalyan mission is the cheapest so far.
12. According to a research, every Indian has probably contributed about Rs. 5 towards the Mangalyaan mission.

The incredible feat by the Indian scientist has certainly set some very high standard at the international level and thus made India a perfect platform to launch satellites of many foreign countries.

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Scientists spot massive ice deposits on Mars

Recent observations by MRO's ground-penetrating Shallow Radar instrument revealed a buried ice layer that covers more ground than the state of New Mexico.

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Scientists found layers of ice on the surface of Mars. Wikimedia Commons
  • Recently, scientists have found layers of ice on the Martian land.
  • Scientists think this ice might be a useful source of water for future humans.
  • The researchers had researched 8 locations on the surface of Mars.

Scientists have unearthed thick and massive deposits of ice in some regions on Mars.

The images taken by the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) showed the three-dimensional structure of massive ice deposits on Mars.

The ice sheets extend from just below the surface to a depth of 100 meters or more and appear to contain distinct layers.

It extending downward from depths as shallow as 1 to 2 meters below the surface, which could preserve a record of Mars’ past climate, the researchers noted in the journal Science.

This ice which was found can help scientists understand the climate history of Mars. IANS
This ice which was found can help scientists understand the climate history of Mars. IANS

“We expect the vertical structure of Martian ice-rich deposits to preserve a record of ice deposition and past climate,” said Colin M. Dundas, from the US Geological Survey.

“They might even be a useful source of water for future human exploration of the red planet,” Dundas added.

The researchers investigated eight locations on Mars and found thick deposits cover broad regions of the Martian mid-latitudes with a smooth mantle.

However, erosion in these regions creates scarps that expose the internal structure of the mantle.

The scarps are actively retreating because of sublimation of the exposed water ice.

The layers of ice can be used as water source by future humans on Mars, VOA
The layers of ice can be used as water source by future humans on Mars, VOA

The ice deposits likely originated as snowfall during Mars’ high-obliquity periods and have now compacted into massive, fractured, and layered ice.

Previous researchers have revealed that the Red Planet harbours subsurface water ice.

Recent observations by MRO’s ground-penetrating Shallow Radar instrument revealed a buried ice layer that covers more ground than the state of New Mexico.

NASA’s Phoenix lander had also dug up some ice near the Martian north pole in 2008, however, it is not clear if that is part of the big sheet. IANS