ISRO's 'transparent' Martian dream gears up with public cheer - The New Indian Express

ISRO's 'transparent' Martian dream gears up with public cheer

Published: 04th November 2013 08:45 PM

Last Updated: 04th November 2013 09:23 PM

Facebook page of ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission
'Latest from the Launch Pad! T-20 hours...The mobile service tower has moved away from the rocket and the Mars Orbiter Mission has commenced' reads the post. Within minutes, over 175 people have 'liked' the post, and an equal number have wished the scientists at ISRO all the best. Welcome to ISRO's most publicized and most ambitious mission till date.

Every single time the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has put a vehicle beyond Earth's frontiers, people get to know about a day later - unless they watch a live telecast on DD or the evening news. With the Rs 350 crore Mars Orbiter Mission, set to take off from Sriharikota at 2.38 pm on Tuesday, practically 30,315 young people have joined in the PSLV-C25 rocket's journey over the past two weeks. And it's all thanks to the Facebook page dedicated to the mission.

India's first interplanetary mission, the Mars Orbiter will be put into space by the trusty Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (the XL version with extra strap-on thrusters) and will inject the satellite well beyond the Earth's sphere of influence, after four engine burn-out phases. Assembled onsite at launchpad 1 at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), the latest update is that the wind and weather are on ISRO's side and the mission's 56.30 hour countdown is proceeding smoothly. The 15-storey tall mobile terminal that housed the vehicle was moved away at 6.30 pm on Monday in preparation for the launch. This indicated that all on-site checking was done and satisfactorily completed.

As ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan admitted, surviving the 300-day journey to reach Mars would be an achievement in itself, after which the Orbiter is expected to search the Red Planet's surface for methane and signs of habitation.

Though ISRO has been uploading their mission information to their website for all and sundry to see, for a few years now, the sheer volume of real-time updates, behind-the-scene pictures of the spacecraft and fun information has really made support from Indian FB users to pour in wishes and support for the success of the landmark mission.

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