India counts down to launch of mission to Mars

Nov 05, 2013 by Katy Daigle
In this Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 photo, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel walk near the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV – C25) at the Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota, in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. India is aiming to join the world's deep-space pioneers with a journey to Mars that it hopes will showcase its technological ability to explore the solar system while seeking solutions for everyday problems on Earth. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K.)

India is counting down to the launch of its first journey to Mars, a complex mission that it hopes will demonstrate and advance technologies for space travel.

Mangalyaan, which means "Mars craft" in Hindi, will ride a powerful rocket first into an around Earth. There, it will perform a series of technical maneuvers and short burns to raise its orbit before it slingshots toward Mars.

The 1,350-kilogram (3,000-pound) orbiter must travel some 780 million kilometers (485 million miles) over 300 days to reach the red planet next September.

India is aiming to follow the Soviet Union, United States and Europe in having a successful visit to Mars.

"The biggest challenge will be precisely navigating the space craft to Mars," said K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space and Research Organization. The space agency will host a live Web cast of Tuesday's launch from the east-coast island of Shriharikota.

Radhakrishnan and his wife offered prayers Tuesday morning at a 200-year-old shrine to the Hindu god Vishnu, asking for success in the launch.

In this Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013 photo, Chairman of the Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO) K. Radhakrishnan speaks during an interview at his office in New Delhi, India. India is aiming to join the world's deep-space pioneers with a journey to Mars that it hopes will showcase its technological ability to travel our solar system while seeking solutions for everyday problems on Earth. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

India defends its $1 billion space program against naysayers who argue the money would be better spent stamping out widespread poverty and hunger by noting its importance in providing high-tech jobs for scientists and engineers and practical applications for solving problems on Earth.

In this Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 photo, Indian technicians inspect the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV – C25) at the Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota, in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. India is aiming to join the world's deep-space pioneers with a journey to Mars that it hopes will showcase its technological ability to explore the solar system while seeking solutions for everyday problems on Earth. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K.)

Space research over decades has allowed India to develop satellite, communications and that are helping to solve everyday problems, from forecasting where fish can be caught to predicting cataclysmic storms and floods.

Explore further: DNA survives critical entry into Earth's atmosphere

More information: Indian Space and Research Organization: www.isro.org/

3.5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

India vies for elite role in space with Mars trip

Nov 04, 2013

India is aiming to join the world's deep-space pioneers with a journey to Mars that it hopes will showcase its technological ability to explore the solar system while seeking solutions for everyday problems ...

Indian space head braced for tricky Mars challenge

Oct 31, 2013

The head of India's space agency warned Thursday of the immense complexity of sending a mission to Mars as the country prepares to send its first interplanetary probe to explore the atmosphere there.

India sets November 5 for Mars mission launch

Oct 22, 2013

Scientists on Tuesday set November 5 for the delayed launch of India's first mission to Mars, which was postponed due to problems in positioning a seaborne tracking system.

India reaches for Mars on prestige space mission

Nov 03, 2013

India began a countdown Sunday to the launch of its most ambitious and risky space mission to date, sending a probe to Mars which was conceived in just 15 months on a tiny budget.

Recommended for you

DNA survives critical entry into Earth's atmosphere

13 hours ago

The genetic material DNA can survive a flight through space and re-entry into the earth's atmosphere—and still pass on genetic information. A team of scientists from UZH obtained these astonishing results ...

Team develops cognitive test battery for spaceflight

14 hours ago

Space is one of the most demanding and unforgiving environments. Human exploration of space requires astronauts to maintain consistently high levels of cognitive performance to ensure mission safety and success, and prevent ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Matthewwa25
1 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2013
Good for india. The economic benefits within tech and skills way outweigh the cost.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.