10 Less known Facts about Magalyaan – Mars Orbiter Mission of India

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is all prepared to launch its first Spacecraft to the Orbit of Mars. If accomplished, it would fulfill several technological as well as scientific objectives, apart from proving India’s Prowess in Space Technology. Here we bring in few less known but must-know facts about it.

  1. Mars Orbiter Mission is merely a “technology demonstrator” project aiming to develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission.
  2. ISRO has never used the Word Mangalyaan for it. In the Books of ISRO, it is simply referred as Mars Orbiter Mission, though Media calls in Mangalyaan, which in Sanskrit means, a vehicle to Mars.
  3. The Mission consists of a Space Probe with a Dry Mass of 500 kg and it will carry 850 kilograms (1,870 lb) of propellant and oxidiser. The Payload is small with mass of 15 kg only.
  4. The Launch timing is 2:38PM on November 5, 2013. The Lift off would take place from the First Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SriHarikota in Andhra Pradesh.
  5. The Window (timing) available for Launch is only between 20 day period October 28 and November 16 due to the Proximity of Mars to Earth. Technically, it is known as  Hohmann transfer orbit which occurs about every 26 months and would next occur in 2016 and 2018.
  6. The Initial launch will place the Mars Orbiter Mission into Earth orbit, then six engine firings will raise that orbit to another Orbit (with an apogee of 23,000 km and a perigee of 238 km)  where it will remain for about 25 days.  A final firing in 30 November 2013 will send MOM onto an interplanetary trajectory.
  7.  Mangalyaan would take at least one year to reach its destination. Its scheduled Arrival at Mars Orbit is September  21, 2014.
  8. The Payload of  15 kg  consists of five instruments known as Lyman-Alpha Photometer, Methane Sensor For Mars , Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyzer, Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer and Mars Colour Camera.
  9. The Total Cost of the Project is approximately Rs. 454 Crores ($69 Million) and its life in the Orbit of Mars would be between 6 to 10 Months.
  10. Till Date only U.S., Russia, Europe, Japan, and China have been able to depart their Spacecraft from Earth for Mars, while only U.S., Russia, Europe, and Japan could  manage to gather any data on Mars, even without entering orbit. Moreover, only U.S., Russia, and Europe have managed to enter the orbit of Mars with a Functioning Aircraft.