India’s first orbiter to Mars, Mangalyaan, is closing in on its final destination through a 300 day mission traveling at 28 km/s. Launched in November of 2013, the 1337 kg spacecraft is carrying five instruments that will study a range of things including early signs of life on the red planet and its atmosphere. This particular mission is a demonstration mission to test the technologies required for design, planning, and operation of future Space missions. The orbiter is equipped with a Photometer, Composition Analyzer, Color Camera, Methane Sensor, and a Thermal Infrared camera. All the information procured from these instruments will be down-linked to Earth through Antennas during regular communication sessions. Hopes are to explore Mars’ surface, morphology, and mineralogy as well as to exercise the capabilities of deep space communication, navigation, and management. If all goes well, the Mangalyaan Orbiter will arrive into Mars’ orbit on September 24th of this year, 2 days after NASA’s Maven Orbiter; which will be the next topic of this series. LinkMangalyaan Orbiter




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