It all started off with me trying to explain to my 7 year old about how a satellite works and how she is able to watch her favorite cartoon shows. Then from one planet to another, from one satellite to the other, from one small question to a whole chart of explanation to finally we mother-daughter duo decided that we wanted to build the Mangalyaan for the school science project. With our sky-shooting excitement levels, we knew we had to first carry out at least a basic research assignment on what, why and how was Mangalyaan.
The more I read, the more I realized the pride that we all should be holding for such an important mission. I am not too sure whose eyes twinkled more, mine because of the pride and information that I possessed or the little eyes of my 7 year old whose sparkled just by fanaticizing over what I kept sharing with her.
Well this is what we made based on our research about India’s Mangalyaan mission:
This was pretty much all that she had to remember:
Mangalyaan is a satellite sent by India around Mars:A satellite is a small body rotating around planets – like the moon around earth (is a natural satellite) and other (artificial) satellites with the help of which we see TV.
- This dome is a fuel tank to run its own engine ( to correct its movement in space – from the earth)
- These solar panels create electricity from the Sun to operate its own equipment.
- The (funnel and disk) are antennae to be able to receive signals from earth and communicate.
- Mangalyaan has instruments to check the air on Mars, and especially for Methane gas.
- It has a special infrared (light rays that we cannot see with our eyes) camera to check the rocks and sand on Mars.
- It has a special digital camera to take photos of Mars.
The orbit and operation: Mangalyaan is rotating around Mars and using its instruments. It is sending back all this information to us on Earth.
The trip:Mangalyaan was launched in space on 5th Nov 2013.It was lauched by the rocket called PSLV (polar satelite launch vehicle). It is in 4 parts (show on model). Each part drops away when the fuel in it is used up, and it keeps pushing Mangalyaan further in space. Finally the entire rocket drops away
When it was launched, it was rotated around earth 6 times in increasing orbits. This was to increase its energy by using gravity.
(To check how the satellite rotateduse ball and stick to demonstrate – the tension force in the string is like gravity) Finally it was pushed out and sent towards Mars. It reached Mars on Sep 24 2014.
(As an example It takes 2 hours by plane to go from pune to chennai , and 24 hours by train).
It took Mangalyaan 9 months to reach Mars from Earth.
Some more related information about Managalyaan
1. Created History:ISRO, or the Indian Space and Research Organisation, is India’s primary space agency. It has created history since its inception 44 years ago. Its space engine or Mars craft called Mangalyaan successfully entered Mars’ orbit in its first attempt on Wednesday, September 24, 2014.
2. MOM:The Mars Obiter Mission or Mangalyaan was launched on November 5, 2013. After 15 months, it seamlessly floated into Mars’ orbit. This near impossible feat achieved by the scientists at ISRO has made India the first country in the world to achieve this task in its maiden attempt.
3. The Mission:Mangalyaan was conceptualized to be able to gauge the resources required for planning, managing technology and operations of an inter-planetary mission. It will also look for indications of life on Mars such as the gas methane.
4. The Cost:Mangalyaan has been termed the most cost-effective project with a total expenditure of Rs. 450 crores or approximate $ 73 million. Many are even calling it the cheapest Mars mission till date.
5. Distance travelled:The mars craft travelled 650 million kilo metres from earth. If calculated, the cost comes up to Rs. 6.7 per kilometre. This turns out to be cheaper than a regular rickshaw ride in the city.
6. Weight:Mangalyaan weighs 1,350 kgs and was ready in 15 months while NASA took five long years to gets its space mission, Maven ready. It is cuboid in shape and the main engine was referred to as Kumbhakaran or the sleeping demon which has now been awakened.
7. World Standing:After achieving this unbelievable task, ISRO has become the fourth space agency in the world to have successfully completed a mission to Mars. It comes after the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the US, Russian Federal Space Agency (RFSA) and European Space Agency.