India’s ISRO has celebrated the second anniversary of its launch of the prestigious Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) on Thursday marking the launch of Mangalyaan on its nine-month journey to Mars, a step that changed the country’s space achievements and lofted it among the four top space explorer nations in the world.
On this occasion, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has also released a book titled “From Fishing Hamlet to Red Planet” at an event held in Spacecraft Control Centre in the Isro Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), Bangalore.
Launched on its indegenous PSLV rocket from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on 5 November 2013, Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) Spacecraft has successfully reached the destination on Sept. 24, 2014 and completed one year on 24 September 2015.
In addition, ISRO has released the Mars Atlas as announced earlier depicting the mission’s details. The book “From Fishing Hamlet to Red Planet” was released by Prof UR Rao, chairman, PRL Council and former chairman of ISRO while the current chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar, former chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan were present.
The book is a compendium of India’s satellite, launch vehicle and application programmes from the beginning in mid-1970s, tracing the trajectory of ISRO’s rise in the sky. Editor of the book is P V Manoranjan Rao, and Associate Editors are B N Suresh and V P Balagangadharan, all retired ISRO Scientists.
ISRO chiarman Kiran Kumar said the book is a record of ISRO’s innovative approach since the beginning of times withstanding seveal roadblocks and bans. The e-version of the book is made available on ISRO Website for free download.
The event discussed the mission challenges during the past one year of spacecraft operations around Mars and the data received from the five payloads of the spacecraft.
A few weeks after its successful insertion into the planned orbit around Mars, the spacecraft operations team successfully managed the challenging task of safely maintaining the Mars Orbiter Spacecraft during the passage of Comet Siding Spring in October 2014 near Mars.
Besides, the robust design, incorporation of full scale autonomy, extensive ground simulation tests and the operations strategy adopted by ISRO enabled the spacecraft to successfully survive during the month long solar conjunction around June 2015. During this period, communication with the Earth was not possible due to the blockage of radio signals by the Sun.
During its journey around Mars, the spacecraft has sent hundreds of Mars images including numerous full disc images of Mars, because of the unique elliptical orbit in which it was placed. Data sent by other four payloads (scientific instruments) of the spacecraft is being systematically analysed
Mars Orbiter Spacecraft is now circling the Red Planet in an orbit with a periareion (nearest point to Mars) of 311 km and an apoareion (farthest point to Mars) of 71,311 km. The spacecraft health is normal, said ISRO.