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India's Mars Mission Crosses Halfway Milestone
Home › Events › India's Mars Mission Crosses Halfway Milestone

On April 9, India’s mission to Mars crossed an important milestone as it crossed the halfway mark of its journey to the planet. Launched on November 5, 2013,the Mars orbiter spacecraft’s radio distance from Earth is presently about 39 million km; a signal from Earth to this spacecraft and back takes about 4 minutes 15 seconds. The spacecraft is expected to rendezvous with the red planet on September 24. Called Mangalyaan, the Mars orbiterhas been made at a cost of about USD 70 million – one of the most cost-effective inter-planetary missions ever conceived. The spacecraft is carrying five scientific payloads to observe the Martian surface, atmosphere and exosphere for a detailed understanding of the evolution of that planet, especially the related geologic and the possible biogenic processes on the planet.

India invests about USD 1 billion annually in its Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) that was established in 1969 and employs about 16,000 people. Among other things, ISRO is also currently engaged in deploying India’s own satellite navigation system for global positioning by 2016 through a fleet of seven satellites, of which the second satellite was launched on April 4.


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