Mangalyaan Was Launched 6 Years Ago, But Here's Why It Still Makes Us Proud
Dhir Acharya - Nov 07, 2019
Six years ago, ISRO took the chance and launched its Mars Orbiter Mission. Also known as Mangalyaan, the space probe was built to collect data on Mars.
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Six years ago, ISRO took the chance and launched its Mars Orbiter Mission. Also known as Mangalyaan, the space probe was built to collect data on Mars. And until today, we are still proud of it, and here’s why.
It got the space agency on the map
ISRO launched Mangalyaan on November 5, 2013, and it was a big achievement as the first interplanetary mission ever of India. Also, India became the first nation in Asia to land on Mars while being the fourth space agency to do this after NASA, the ESA, and Roscosmos.
That’s the first time the space agency went that far into space
Mangalyaan was in Earth orbit for around a month while making small changes in its orbit before it shot off to Mars on November 30. Then, on September 24, 2014, Mangalyaan returned to Earth orbit after spending 298 days in transit. In total, it traveled 660 million kilometers to reach Mars.
The Mars mission far outlived our expectations
Mangalyaan was expected to be retired by now, which was initially meant to be a technology demonstration. And it was planned to last that six months only once it was in Mars orbit. But six years have passed and Mangalyaan still keeps sending important data to Earth.
The orbiter can live so far partly because it was designed to be completely autonomous. When it was in a sub-optimal position, it turns on hibernation mode to save power and only wakes up to capture photos as well as send them back.
It sends back crucial data
The Mars Orbiter has sent us terabytes of images and data. It is the only satellite to be able to capture the entire planet’s disc in one frame, along with the far side of Deimos. This helps the space agency build a map of Mars for research in the future. Also, we could use the data it collected to publish peer-reviewed studies about the planet.
It’s extremely cheap
ISRO received Rs 450 crore to build Mangalyaan. To compare, the film Avengers: Endgame cost Rs 2,500 to make and Red Dead Redemption 2 cost bout Rs 700 crore to make.
The interesting thing is that ISRO didn’t even spend the whole Rs 450 crore. After finishing building Mangalyaan, it returned Rs 2.61 crore.