Leaving a mark in history, India has become the first country in the world to enter the Martian orbit in its first attempt. On Wednesday, ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) successfully entered the orbit of the red planet. It also happens to be the cheapest of such mission till now.
“The spacecraft (Orbiter) was successfully inserted into the Martian orbit at 515 km away from the red planet’s surface and 215 million km away from the earth in radio distance,” a senior space official told IANS at the mission’s control center.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessed the historic moment from ISRO’s centre.
After successful launch PM Modi said, “India has become the first country to enter Mars orbit on a maiden mission.” “History has been created today with India reaching Mars. ISRO has joined an elite group of just three countries to reach Mars,” he said. ” It was built indigenously, in a pan-Indian effort, stretching from Bangalore to Bhubhaneshwar, and Faridabad to Rajkot.”
“Our budget is even lesser than a Hollywood blockbuster. These will go down as landmarks in history,” Modi added.
The Mars orbit insertion began in the early hours at 4.17 a.m. when the spacecraft switched over to the medium gain antenna for emitting and receiving radio signals. After rotating the Orbiter in the direction of Mars at 6.57 a.m., the main engine was ignited at 7.17 a.m. to enable the spacecraft enter the Martian orbit.
During the crucial operation, when an eclipse occurred on Mars from 7.12 a.m., the 440 Newton liquid apogee motor (LAM) of the main engine started burning at 7.30 a.m. and lasted for 24 minutes till 7.54 a.m. for inserting the spacecraft into the Martian orbit. ”Radars at the four earth stations across the US, Europe, India and Australia received the signal confirming the successful insertion of the spacecraft into the Martian orbit,” the official said.