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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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NASA’s Probe Discovers Signs Of Water on Asteroid Bennu

OSIRIS-REx will pass later this month just 1.2 miles (1.9 km) from Bennu, entering the asteroid's gravitational pull and analyzing its terrain.

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This Nov. 16, 2018, image provide by NASA shows the asteroid Bennu. NASA

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has discovered ingredients for water on a relatively nearby skyscraper-sized asteroid, a rocky acorn-shaped object that may hold clues to the origins of life on Earth, scientists said on Monday.

OSIRIS-REx, which flew last week within a scant 12 miles (19 km) of the asteroid Bennu some 1.4 million miles (2.25 million km) from Earth, found traces of hydrogen and oxygen molecules — part of the recipe for water and thus the potential for life — embedded in the asteroid’s rocky surface.

The probe, on a mission to return samples from the asteroid to Earth for study, was launched in 2016. Bennu, roughly a third of a mile wide (500 meters), orbits the sun at roughly the same distance as Earth. There is concern among scientists about the possibility of Bennu impacting Earth late in the 22nd century.

 

NASA, asteroid
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx. Flickr

 

“We have found the water-rich minerals from the early solar system, which is exactly the kind of sample we were going out there to find and ultimately bring back to Earth,” University of Arizona planetary scientist Dante Lauretta, the OSIRIS-REx mission’s principal investigator, said in a telephone interview.

Asteroids are among the leftover debris from the solar system’s formation some 4.5 billion years ago. Scientists believe asteroids and comets crashing into early Earth may have delivered organic compounds and water that seeded the planet for life, and atomic-level analysis of samples from Bennu could provide key evidence to support that hypothesis.

“When samples of this material are returned by the mission to Earth in 2023, scientists will receive a treasure trove of new information about the history and evolution of our solar system,” Amy Simon, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said in a statement.

OSIRIS-REx, NASA, Asteroid
This illustration provided by NASA depicts the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft at the asteroid Bennu. The rocky remnant from the dawn of the solar system may hold clues to the origins of life. VOA

“We’re really trying to understand the role that these carbon-rich asteroids played in delivering water to the early Earth and making it habitable,” Lauretta added.

OSIRIS-REx will pass later this month just 1.2 miles (1.9 km) from Bennu, entering the asteroid’s gravitational pull and analyzing its terrain. From there, the spacecraft will begin to gradually tighten its orbit around the asteroid, spiraling to within just 6 feet (2 meters) of its surface so its robot arm can snatch a sample of Bennu by July 2020.

Also Read: Wintertime Ice Growth in Arctic Sea Slows Long-Term Decline: NASA

The spacecraft will later fly back to Earth, jettisoning a capsule bearing the asteroid specimen for a parachute descent in the Utah desert in September 2023. (VOA)