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India's Mars Orbiter Mission    by Anurag Sharma

India launches Mangalyaan after successful Chandrayaan mission for moon.

The Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO) launched Mangalyaan, it's first inter-planetary expedition to Mars. Launched into Earth orbit from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota (Nellore, India) using a PSLV C-25 rocket on Tuesday November 5, 2013, Mars Orbiter "Mangalyaan" is expected to reach the red planet after 320 days on Sept. 24, 2014. The name "Mangalyaan" is derived from two Sanskrit roots: Mangal means mars and Yaan means a large vehicle or a ship. NASA congratulated the ISRO on the successful launch of its Mars mission. Japan and China have attempted similar missions in the past but failed. Out of 51 Mars missions, only 21 are considered successful so far. These missions were managed by NASA, ESA and RFSA.

The satellite weighs 1337 kilograms. It was prepared by a team of 1000 scientists in 15 months' time. Prior to Mangalyaan, the longest distance covered by an ISRO misson was Chandrayaan, India's misson to the Moon. Mangalyaan will orbit Earth six times before moving towards Mars.

    Chandrayaan route from India to the Moon

Mangalyaan of India

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[चित्र भारतीय अन्तरिक्ष अनुसंधान संस्थान द्वारा - Photo Courtesy: Indian Space Research Organisation]

© Anurag Sharma