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On This Day In Space: Sept. 24, 2014: India’s 1st Mars mission reaches orbit

On Sept. 24, 2014, India’s first interplanetary mission entered into orbit around Mars!

India’s First Mars Mission in Pictures

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan (Sanskrit for “Mars Craft”), spent 10 months getting to Mars after it launched. It was mostly a technology demonstration that India’s space agency orchestrated to prove they could send a spacecraft to Mars. But it also has some cameras and scientific instruments to collect data about the Red Planet.

An illustration of the Mars Orbiter Mission in orbit around Mars. (Image credit: NASA/ISRO/Robert Lea)

India launched its Mars orbiter mission on Nov. 5, 2013 atop a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle primarily as a demonstration mission to show that the ISRO could build a spacecraft capable of reaching the Red Planet. The $74 million mission was designed to snap photographs of Mars and study the planet’s atmosphere for up to 10 months, but did perform science for over a year and continues to orbit the Red Planet.

How India’s First Mars Mission Works | Infographic

The orbiter’s science orbit circles Mars on an extreme path, approaching as close as 227 miles (365 kilometers) and extending as far out as 49,710 miles (80,000 km). It takes the spacecraft about 77 hours to complete one orbit.

On This Day in Space Archive!

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