New Delhi (ISJ): Indian space scientists and technologists were the centre of adulation following the successful placing of Mars Orbiter Mission or Mangalyaan in Earth?s orbit after about 40 minutes of its launch at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday (Nov. 05). The 1,350 kgs robotic satellite is on its 10-month-long course over 200-million-kms voyage to the Red Planet ? Mars, carrying five instruments.
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee congratulated Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for the successful launch of the Spacecraft on PSLV-C 25.
"This day shall go down as a landmark in our space programme, a day which will inspire our scientists to make even greater strides in achieving our national goals in the field of space," said Mukherjee in his message to ISRO Chief Dr. K. Radhakrishnan.
"The successful launch is the first step towards a successful mission and is testimony to ISRO's mastery of the launch vehicle technology," said Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, who called up Dr. Radhakrishnan as the launch was progressing to its crucial stage.
Mars Orbiter Mission carries five scientific payloads to observe Martian surface, atmosphere and exosphere extending up to 80,000 km for a detailed understanding of the evolution of that planet, especially the related geologic and the possible biogenic processes on that interesting planet. These payloads consist of a camera, two spectrometers, a radiometer and a photometer. Together, they have a weight of about 15 kg.
ISRO is collaborating with NASA in the mission. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is providing communication and navigation support to the mission with their Deep Space Network facilities.
The spacecraft is expected to reach Mars' orbit on September 14, 2014.
With the successful launch of MOM, Indian joins the select club of spacefaring nations to attempt this feat. However, only three other space agencies ? USA's NASA, Russia's Roscosmos and the European Nation Space Agency have so far reached Earth's closest neighbor. Chinese and Japanese missions however, failed.