India Launches Their First Probe to Mars!
On Tuesday November 5, India launched their first space craft to Mars with the intent of landing on the planet. Only a few countries have been able to land on the red planet, including the United States and the Soviet Union, however, many countries have attempted. India has decided to join these groups of countries, and now all that’s left is to see if they will be successful.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has come a long way since their beginnings in they 1960’s. They first started off as small organization that had a local church as their main office. They converted a bishop’s house to be a workshop and used a cow shed as a laboratory. Now they are far more advanced thanks to the success they’ve had in the past that got them more government funding than they used to be despite the fact that they still have limited resources. In 1975 they were able to get one of their satellites into space with the help of the Soviet Union who launched it for them. Now they are showing that they can do things on their own with the launch of their mars probe and commercially launching satellites for other countries. They even plan to send two astronauts into orbit in 2015. India also has the largest network of remote sensing satellites. Now they are on their way to possibly joining the ranks of the countries who were able to land space probes on Mars!
The mission to Mars has been named Mangalyaan. The unmanned space craft is predicted to actually reach the planet on September of next year. If their probe lands their goals will be much like other Mars space crafts goals: to search for signs of life and test their equipment for deep space travel. The Mars mission took $74 million to complete which is by far the cheapest mission to be attempted. However, this launch is a huge step for India in science and technology. If their launch is successful it opens opportunities for low-cost missions with other countries.
The mission to Mars is India’s chance to prove that their space program is something to be taken seriously and that their capability can be among the ranks of the more successful space programs. If they are able to land on Mars they’d also prove that their program is worth funding, as there are some government critics who would argue that India should be spending more of their funds on social programs.
ISRO also has supporters who believe that advancing their technology will be more beneficial. An example of this is when they were able to detect a massive storm brewing, Cyclone Phailin, with their high-tech satellites and radars developed by the space program. With their technology warning them, they were able to evacuate thousands of people and over all save their lives.
Next year the results of India’s first launch to Mars will be revealed. Comment below on whether or not you think they’ll pull off their low-cost mission to Mars.
Posted on November 13, 2013, in News, Top Stories and tagged India, Indian Space Research Organisation, Indian Space Research Organization, ISRO, K Radhakrishnan, launch, Mangalyaan, Mars, probes, Red Planet, satellite, Soviet Union, space travel, Spacecraft, United States. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.