India has created space history by becoming the first country to put its spacecraft into the Mars orbit in its maiden attempt. As ISRO’s Control Command received the signal sent by Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) at 7.59 am, the ISRO scientists in Bangalore erupted with joy as PM Narendra Modi shared their happiness in those moments and congratulated them on the unprecedented space success. ISRO scientists have taken the idea of frugal engineering to new heights with the most economical space mission, which cost India just Re. 450 Crore, which is less than the cost of a Hollywood movie.
The scientists had waited for 300+ days as MOM travelled in space. But in the last 1 hour, the orbiter gave some tense moments as it first reoriented and then fired its engine and thrusters for 24 minutes to enter the Mars orbit. More than a week ago, the ISRO men had fed all the commands for movements to the spacecraft and MOM carried them out perfectly. The achievement is all the more special as India is the first country to get it right the first time. For many months, MOM will remain a satellite of Mars, click pictures and discover details regarding its atmosphere and structure.
Through its journey since November 5 last year when the PSLV-C25 lifted off from Sriharikota, MOM has had a perfect journey. The first crucial test came on Monday when it executed the commands to fire up its main engine which had been lying idle for 300 days since its departure. MOM did it by burning for the designated four seconds to show that the engine was fine. As it orbits the Mars in an elliptical path, its closest point is around 420 km and the farthest around 80,000 km. MOM will use five equipment that together weigh 15 kg for scientific studies.
Before India, various countries have had Mars missions but only 21 of 51 such missions had succeeded. With this feat, India has joined the selct space club of the USA, Russia and the European Space Agency.