HYDERABAD: As the nation gears itself to announce and celebrate the successful Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), popularly known as Mangalyaan, on Wednesday morning, and thus become the fourth space agency after National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) of the US, Russian Federal Space Agency (RFSA) and European Space Agency to have undertaken a mission to Mars, children from Hyderabad during an event detailed all one needs to know about MOM.
“As our spacecraft is expected to make a smooth insertion into the Martian orbit from sun orbit on Wednesday morning, we are creating history. We have become the first Asian country to enter the Martian sphere of influence on Monday and that too in our first attempt,” said Raghunandan Kumar, director of Planetary Society of India.
A class 10 student of Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS), N Divya introducing Mangalyaan mission said, “India launched Mangalyaan on November 5, 2013 at 2.38 pm from Sriharikota Satish Dhawan Space Research Centre. Our scientists made it possible in only 15 months of preparation as the next window opportunity after 2013 is in 2016 and then 2018.” Adding more, she said, Russia and China who together tried a similar mission in 2011 had failed at the launching stage itself.
Another class 10 student, N Susmitha, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, Munugode mandal, Nalgonda, continuing further, pointed out, “Our spacecraft’s liquid apogee motor (LAM) engine has been idle for 300 days. On Monday, LAM was fired for four seconds promising a successful insertion of the spacecraft into the Martian orbit on Tuesday.”
Smriti Saryu, a class 8 student from St Ann’s school at Vijayanagar colony, speaking about the most important aspect said, “Our entire project cost in ` 450 crore which is nothing compared to similar projects undertaken by other three agencies. It is also commendable that we could use our proficiency in Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) to the best instead of trying for Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).” Her classmate Akhila Sai added, “On November 10, we had our share of jitters when the orbit raising manoeuvre witnessed incomplete burn but our scientists provided the supplementary burns and corrected the spacecrafts the journey into transmars trajectory after 7th orbit raising manoeuvre in earth orbit on November 30.”
So, what are the major improvements in MOM after learning from Chandrayaan? G Lakshmi Mallika, a class 10 student of St Ann’s school, said, there are five instruments on the MOM probe. Each will serve purposes like evaluating the water loss process on Mars, get colour images of MARS in visible spectrum, get atmospheric methane mapping, infrared imaging, and to explore thus the possibility of life on MARS.
“It takes 12 minutes to communicate from earth with the MOM probe and 12 more minutes to receive a reply. Keeping this in mind, our scientists have sent the commands for September 24 on September 14 and 15 itself. On Sept 24, it will be an eclipse situation with sun coming between the probe and earth leaving no chance for any communication,” said Rudra Aryan Potluri, a class 8 student at The Aga Khan Academy.
Adding to that, M Navya, a class 7 student of the Little Flower High School, Abids, said, “Between 4 am and 8 am, exactly at 7.17 am and till 7.52 am, LAM will be burnt so that the velocity of the probe comes down to 4.2 km/sec from 22 km/sec. If all goes well, MOM will make a smooth transit into the Martian orbit.”