More reports on: Indian Space Research Organisation

MOM Mangalyaan sends pics of Martian dust storm

30 September 2014

Mars Orbiter Spacecraft captures its first image of Mars. Taken from a height of 7300 km; with 376 m spatial resolution.  
Mangalyaan, India's Mars Orbiter Mission, on Monday sent a picture of regional dust storm activities over the northern hemisphere of the planet, the Indian Space Research Organisation said in Bangalore.

"Regional dust storm activities over northern hemisphere of Mars - captured by Mars Colour Camera (MCC) on board Mars Orbiter Mission," the Bangalore-headquartered ISRO said on its official Facebook page, with a picture.

It said the image was taken from an altitude of 74,500 km from the surface of the red planet.

Regional dust storm activities over Northern Hemisphere of Mars - captured by Mars Color Camera on-board Mars Orbiter Spacecraft from altitude of 74500 km on Sep 28, 2014  
Mangalyaan had sent its first images of the planet on Thursday, a day after creating history by becoming the only such endeavour to have succeeded on its first attempt.

MOM aims to study the Martian surface and mineral composition and scan its atmosphere for methane, an indicator of life.

The spacecraft is equipped with five instruments, including a sensor to track methane or marsh gas, a colour camera and a thermal-imaging spectrometer to map the surface and mineral wealth of the planet.

The Rs450-crore MOM is the world's cheapest inter-planetary mission. India is the first country to reach Mars in the first attempt. European, American and Russian probes have managed to orbit or even land on the planet, but after several attempts.

First image of the Earth by Mars Color Camera (MCC) of Mars Orbiter Spacecraft taken on Nov 19, 2013 at 13:50 hrs (IST) from 67975 km altitude with a resolution of 3.53 km  
The orbiter will keep moving in an elliptical path for at least six months with its instruments sending their gleanings back home.

The spacecraft was launched on its nine-month-long odyssey on an indigenous PSLV rocket from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on 5 November last year. It had escaped the Earth's gravitational field on 1 December and was placed in the Martian orbit on 24 September.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address at Madison Square Garden in New York, mentioned MOM and pointed out that in cost per kilometre covered, it is cheaper than an auto-rickshaw ride.


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