All you needed to know about low-cost mission to Mars

All you needed to know about low-cost mission to Mars
Highlights

Indian scientists successfully tested the main engine of a spacecraft bound for Mars on Monday and performed a course correction that puts the low-cost project on track to enter the red planet\'s orbit.

Indian scientists successfully tested the main engine of a spacecraft bound for Mars on Monday and performed a course correction that puts the low-cost project on track to enter the red planet's orbit. The Orbiter will attempt to enter orbit around Mars early on Wednesday. If successful, it will be the first time a mission has entered Mars' orbit on its first attempt, enhancing India's position in the global space race. Here's all you needed to know about India's mission to Mars:

The Mangalyaan has been configured to carry out observations of the physical features of the Mars and also to carry out a limited study of the Martian atmosphere.

At just Rs 450 crore, ISRO’S Mars mission is the cheapest so far. After a nine-month long journey, the Orbiter is scheduled to enter Mars’ orbit on September 24. To reach Mars, the spacecraft had to enter three phases, the earth centered phase, the helio centric phase and finally the Martian phase

The project, built over a remarkably short period of two years, is primarily a technological mission considering the critical operations and stringent requirements on propulsion and other systems of the spacecraft.

Launched last November, the Mars Orbiter Mission, called Mangalyaan, aims to study the planet's surface and mineral composition, and scan its atmosphere for methane, a chemical strongly tied to life on Earth.

Just 21 out of the 51 missions launched to Mars by different countries have been successful and that too by only three space agencies — NASA, European Space Agency and the Russian Federal Space Agency. The launch gives India an entry into an exclusive club of nations with interplanetary travel capabilities.

The pay loads include Lyman Lpha Photometer to measure the relative abundance of deuterium and hydrogen from Lyman- alpha emission; Methane Sensor for Mars to measure methane in the Martian atmosphere, and thus determine past existence of life; Mars Colour Camera to capture images and information about the surface of Mars and its composition; Mars Exopheric Neutral Composition Analyser, which is a spectrometer; and Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer to map surface composition and mineralogy of Mars.

The orbit insertion will take place when the spacecraft will be 423 km from the Martian surface and 215 million km away (radio distance) from the earth.

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