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India's Mars Mission – What it intends to achieve

The landmark work of Indian scientists – The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM),also known as 'Mangalyaan' was a monumental event for every Indian.

India has successfully launched its mission into Mars, also known as The Red Planet. With this India became the first country to have succeeded in the first try to Mars mission. The mission was achieved at an extraordinary low price tag of Rs. 450 crores – one tenth of what a similar mission would cost NASA.

Many saw this momentous occasion as the country's attempt to vie for technological supremacy against the Chinese. The situation almost seemed reminiscent of the uncompromising space race fought between the United States and Russia.

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) described their attempts as a technology demonstrator, with the primary ambition involving the design, planning and management of an interplanetary mission.

The objective of the space agency was both technological and scientific. In terms of technological innovation, they aimed to manufacture and launch a Mars orbiter that was capable of withstanding Earth bound manoeuvers, as well as the length of time required to reach the Red Planet – some 300 days.

The scientific research goals are aimed at exploring Martian surface features, including the planet's morphology and mineralogy, alongside its atmosphere.

The orbiter encompasses a number of scientific research instruments; including a Mars color camera and a thermal infrared imaging spectrometer for investigation of the planet's surface.

A mass analyzer will perform particle environment studies, while photometers and methane sensors will explore its atmosphere.

Although the mission is chiefly designed as a technology demonstrator, ISRO is using its solar-powered instruments to determine precisely how the weather systems of Mars work. The results could give insight as to how most of the planet's water disappeared.

'Mangalyaan" has definitely cherished the dreams of many young people who aspire to become scientist. Small children when explained by elders and teachers are in awe hearing the innovation science has made. They are definitely inspired by the feat of the India scientists. All this pose a bright future for the country.

The road to Mars is a long one and a number of mission-critical manoeuvers still have to take place. If successful, it will provide a new platform for the scientists to showcase their talents. In that case India will surely strengthen its position in the tech-world and will confidently respond to the criticism of its Mars mission.

Shivangi Rajani

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