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Mangalyaan Sends Mars Great Canyon 3D Image as Independence Day Gift


ISRO has released the image of canyon on Mars sent by Mangalyaan on the Independence Day. (ISRO)

India’s Mars Orbiter Mission Mangalyaan, which is still active and sending images, has sent one for the Independence Day and it is a 3-D image of the Valles Marineris, a 5,000-km-long canyon system on Mars.

Seen in the picture, the canyon on the Red Planet shows several valleys and is slated to be the solar system’s largest canyon ever captured. Called Opir Chasma, the Mangalyaan took the image from an altitude of 1857 km from the surface of the red planet.
The Valles Marineris canyon system on Mars extends to about 5000-km in length and has several such chasmas or valleys. The Opir Chashma is about 62 km wide and is bordered by high-walled cliffs as seen in the image.
The Mangalyaan mission was successfully launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) reached Mars surface in September 2014, bringing applauds for the nation as the only country after the U.S., Russia and Europe to have successfully undertaken missions to Mars in its maiden attempt.
The Mangalyaan mission has been rewarded with the Space Pioneer 2015 Award by the US’ National Space Society ans was one of the top Science achievements in Times 2014 list. ISRO is currently planning its second space mission to Mars.
In November similar image showed the northern portion of Noctis Labyrinthus, located at the western edge of the Valles Marineris Rift System with a terrain composed of huge blocks which are heavily fractured, said ISRO.
Earlier images had shown eroded deposits located in central portion (floor) of Valles Marineris, regional contacts, fracture pattern running parallel to Valles Marineris, Arima crater located south of Valles Marineris among other have been captured in this image, including the Wall of the canyon.
Images of Valles Marineris and adjoining regions of Mars taken by MCC on board MOM are used in generating the fly-through. The MCC image was captured on November 10, 2014 at an altitude of 16,972 km. The spatial resolution of image is 882 m. The data was corrected by normalizing the radiometry with topographic effects. Subsequently, the image is draped over Planet Mars topography in the region of coverage mentioned above. Topography data has been smoothed for visual appeal.Mars Digital Elevation Model from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) of Mars Global Surveyor mission is used as Topography Source. Mars Digital Image Mosaic from Viking missions is used as background planet texture. The video is generated by DECU, SAC, Ahmedabad.


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  1. On July 21, 1969, I was visiting my aunt and uncle on their cototn farm in West Texas, and they wanted to be sure I didn’t miss seeing Neil Armstrong take that first step on the moon. Their TV was all flies, so they took me to an elderly neighbor’s house a few miles up the road, closer to town. Even on her set, the picture was a little grainy. But finally, after sitting awkwardly for hours next to Miss Mildred on the old, plaid sofa (she called it “the divan”), the big moment arrived. Seeing images of the astronauts, in their bulky moon suits, squeezing out of the space ship into the moon’s atmosphere, making their way carefully down the ladder, taking that first step and actually walking on the moon, planting the American flag in the moon’s soil, was like watching science fiction, but slow and real. I remember feeling proud—proud of NASA and American ingenuity. I guess that is why I feel such a loss here. More has been lost than just a government space program. This is another step toward the loss of American pride—pride we felt when Americans contributed to the government to accomplish what we could not do alone—that sense of We did this together. No longer are the accomplishments of the government seen as accomplishments of the individuals that fund it.If individual accomplishments were seen as being possible because the government, functioning properly, insured the individuals’ freedoms, we could share a sense of national pride when individual citizens accomplished great things. But what happens when the accomplishments of private citizens are in spite of the tentacles of the government that hold them back? As Americans, can we really share in their accomplishments anymore? Do we feel proud of Bill Gates’ accomplishments or just impressed?I hope the children of today’s America will feel that sense of American pride if Bill Gates funds a successful mission to Mars. I hate to see American pride lost.Funny how this particular topic made me step back a little from my usual position of ranting about taxes and government waste. Instead of ranting, I just want to whisper, How sad. NASA is “inefficient and stagnant.”VN:F [1.9.7_1111]please wait…

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