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India successfully orbits Mars

Mars Orbiter Mission MOM entered orbit around Mars on 24 September 2014

Currently in orbit and sending data, MOM is India's first interplanetary mission. The spacecraft has an autonomous fault detection and recovery system. The Spacecraft Control Centre at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore controls the mission, with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennae at Byalalu.

MOM Mars Orbiter Mission

The initial 6-month mission completed on 24 March 2015. Since it still has sufficient propellant and all systems are go, it will continue for a further 6 months, till October 2015. A test of its systems is the 2-week blackout in June 2015, as Mars passes behind the Sun.

Hindi: मंगलयान (Mangalyaan: Sanskrit mangala = "Mars" and yāna, "vehicle")

Entered Mars orbit 24 September 2014.

Achievements: first country to achieve Mars orbit on first attempt. Record low budget of $74 million.

Orbit: inserted 24 September 2014, very elongated elliptical orbit. Periapsis (or perigee) = 421.7 km. Apoapsis (or apogee) = 76,993.6 km.

Mass of orbiter at take-off: 1,337 kg

Mission objectives: Primary: technology demonstration and testing. Secondary: scientific data collection of atmosphere, surface and moons.

Article by Andrew Bone, January 6, 2016

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