India makes history, enter Mars orbit in maiden attempt

India makes history, enter Mars orbit in maiden attempt

India makes history, enter Mars orbit in maiden attempt

On 24th September, 2014 India created space history by becoming the first country in the world to enter Mars orbit in its maiden attempt. India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) glided over 650 million km through deep space for over nine months to reach the red planet's orbit.

Radars at the earth stations of NASA at Goldstone in the US, Madrid in Spain, Canberra in Australia and India's own deep space network at Baylalu near Bangalore received the radio signals from the Orbiter, confirming its entry in the Mars orbit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who witnessed the event, declared that the successful Mars mission "must become a base for challenging the next frontier".

The Prime Minister said that the MOM was built "indigenously, in a pan-Indian effort" and added that India is the only country to have succeeded in its very first attempt. "With today's spectacular success, ISRO joins an elite group, of only three other agencies worldwide to have successfully reached the red planet," he added amidst applause.

The five scientific instruments on board the 475kg (dry mass) Orbiter will study the red planet's surface, its mineral composition and scan its atmosphere for methane gas in search of life-sustaining elements.

The Rs.450-crore ($70 million) ambitious mission was launched Nov 5, 2013 on board a polar rocket from spaceport Sriharikota off Bay of Bengal, about 80 km northeast of Chennai.

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