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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 Curiosity Rover Gets its Drilling Groove Back on Mars

It lets Curiosity drill using the force of its robotic arm, a little more like the way a human would drill into a wall at home

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NASA Curiosity Rover Gets its Drilling Groove Back on Mars
NASA Curiosity Rover Gets its Drilling Groove Back on Mars. Pixabay

After a mechanical problem took NASA Mars rover Curiosity’s drill offline in December 2016, it has now successfully tested a new drilling method on the Red Planet, making a 50-millimetre deep hole in a target called “Duluth”, NASA has said.

Engineers working with the Curiosity Mars rover have been hard at work testing a new way for the rover to drill rocks and extract powder from them.

On May 20, that effort produced the first drilled sample on Mars in more than a year, NASA said in a statement on Wednesday.

The new technique, called Feed Extended Drilling, keeps the drill’s bit extended out past two stabiliser posts that were originally used to steady the drill against Martian rocks.

It lets Curiosity drill using the force of its robotic arm, a little more like the way a human would drill into a wall at home.

“The team used tremendous ingenuity to devise a new drilling technique and implement it on another planet,” said Curiosity Deputy Project Manager Steve Lee of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

“Those are two vital inches of innovation from 60 million miles away. We’re thrilled that the result was so successful,” Lee said.

Drilling is a vitally important part of Curiosity’s capabilities to study Mars.

Inside the rover are two laboratories that are able to conduct chemical and mineralogical analyses of rock and soil samples.

The samples are acquired from Gale Crater, which the rover has been exploring since 2012.

“We’ve been developing this new drilling technique for over a year, but our job isn’t done once a sample has been collected on Mars,” said JPL’s Tom Green, a systems engineer who helped develop and test Curiosity’s new drilling method.

Also Read: NASA Probe to ‘Touch’ the Sun Will Carry 1.1 mn Names

“With each new test, we closely examine the data to look for improvements we can make and then head back to our test bed to iterate on the process.”

There’s also the next step to work on — delivering the rock sample from the drill bit to the two laboratories inside the rover.

As soon as this Friday, the Curiosity team will test a new process for delivering samples into the rover’s laboratories, NASA said. (IANS)