Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharokota in Andhra Pradesh has on November 5, 2013 successfully launched its first mission to Mars at 02:38 pm. This marks the first space mission to Mars for India.
The mission is formally known as the Mars Orbiter Mission and is also known as the ‘Mangalyaan’. The mission was announced by the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh about 15 months ago and this happened shortly after a similar Chinese mission failed to leave the earth’s atmosphere.
The timing of the PM’s announcement started speculations that India was trying its best to prove a point that its military and economic power is superior to its neighbors. However, the ISRO denied these speculations and K Radhakrishnan, the ISRO chairman said, “We are in competition with ourselves in the areas that we have charted for ourselves”.
The chairman went on to say that every country has its own priorities. The vehicle launched – which weighs 350 tonne – will orbit the earth for about a month and build up the needed velocity to break free from the gravitational pull. Later, the second stage of the nine-month journey will begin which will offer a huge test to Indian scientists. The total cost of the project is expected to be 4.5 billion Indian rupees.
Photo Credits: Rediff