On November 5, 2013 with an intent to probe the Red Planet, India launched Mangalyaan as its first interplanetary mission. After a nine month journey through inter-planetary space, it successfully entered the Martian orbit on September 24, 2014. Also known as the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), Mangalyaan explores and observes the surface features, morphology, mineralogy and the atmosphere of planet Mars. Because of it, India became the first Asian nation to reach Mars orbit, and the first nation in the world to do so in its first attempt!
The mission has till date, completed over 1000 days in the Martian orbit; well beyond its predicted 180 days! If that isn’t impressive enough, it’s also expected to circle the planet for another 5 years owing to the fuel it still has left.
Today, we bring you 5 fun facts about Mangalyaan as it inches towards completing four years in the Martian orbit on September 24, 2018. Read on and make yourself proud of India!
Worth The Weight
The mass of the Mars Orbiter during lift-off was calculated to be 1,337.2 kg (2,948 lb), including 852 kg (1,878 lb) of propellant. This is almost the same as the weight of a small SUV; a Mahindra Scorpio, for instance, which weighs 1,820 kg (4,012 lb). Fascinating isn’t it?
The Mission is also known to be the least-expensive Mars Mission to date. The total cost was approximately ₹ 450 Crore (US $73 million) which can be credited to lower worker costs, using home-grown technology and a simpler, less complicated design. Ironically enough, the popular space-based movie Interstellar was made on a budget of US $165 million, which is more than double the costs involved in MOM.
Women Are From Mars
Four years ago a picture went viral on the Internet. The picture was taken at ISRO, Bangalore and showed a group of women in colourful sarees and gajras in their hair, celebrating the launch of Mangalyaan. These women, also known as Rocket Women or The Women from Mars were the administrative staff and scientists who worked on the successful mission. Best described as multi-taskers, these ladies successfully maintain a work-life balance while conceptualizing interplanetary missions! Who said women belong in the kitchen?
With a verified account and over 500K followers, Mangalyaan is quite the Twitter celebrity. And as its bio suggests, it loves science, photography and long cruises. Sounds like your friend who went abroad for higher studies right? One of its first tweets, however, was a reply to the US space agency Nasa's Curiosity Rover. The Curiosity Rover welcomed Mangalyaan into the Martian Orbit with a friendly tweet and congratulated India on its first interplanetary mission. The twitter account was quick to pick up on an American tone and replied instantaneously. Now, that’s what we call a friendship which is out-of-the-world!
Vote For The Note
Released by the Reserve Bank of India on November 8, 2016 after the demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes, the 2000-rupee banknote proudly features the Mangalyaan. A part of the Mahatma Gandhi New Series, the iconic pink coloured note pays tribute to the historical mission with a motif on its reverse side.
The journey to keep walking starts off with an ignition. And the ignition gets sparked when inspiration strikes! Johnnie Walker's inspirational stories motivate you to Keep Walking!
Inspired from the successful journey of Mangalyaan, “Mission Mars”. Imran Khan’s first directorial venture presented by Johnnie Walker - The Journey and Dharma 2.0.
Watch the short film here.
Image Source: Wikipedia, IBTimes, BBC