September 24 in History

2014 – The Mars Orbiter Mission makes India the first Asian nation to reach Mars orbit, and the first nation in the world to do so in its first attempt

The space probe Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), unofficially known as Mangalyaan, launched on November 5, 2013 by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), began orbiting Mars on this day in September 2014. It was India’s first interplanetary mission and it made ISRO the fourth space agency to achieve Mars orbit, after RoscosmosNASA, and the European Space Agency  It also  made India the first Asian nation to reach the Martian orbit and the first nation in the world to do so on its maiden attempt.

The Mars Orbiter Mission probe lifted-off from the First Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (Sriharikota Range SHAR), Andhra Pradesh, using a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket C25 at 09:08 UTC on November 5, 2013. The  launch window was approximately 20 days long and started on October 28,2013. The MOM probe spent about a month in Earth orbit, where it made a series of seven apogee-raising orbital manoeuvres before trans-Mars injection on November 30,2013 (UTC). After a 298-day transit to Mars, it was put into Mars orbit on this day in 2014.

The mission was a “technology demonstrator” project to develop the technologies for designing, planning, management, and operations of an interplanetary mission. It carried five scientific instruments and  was monitored from the Spacecraft Control Centre at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru with support from the Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennae at Bengaluru, Karnataka.

On October 2, 2022, it was reported that the orbiter had irrecoverably lost communications with Earth after entering a seven-hour eclipse period in April 2022 that it was not designed to survive. The following day, ISRO released a statement that all attempts to revive MOM had failed and officially declared it dead, citing the loss of fuel and battery power to the probe’s instruments.



Photo Caption – Mars as seen from MOM – GODL-India


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