Mangalyaan: Mangalyaan, or India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), was India's first interplanetary mission. Launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Mangalyaan mission not only made ISRO the fourth agency to put a mission on Mars' orbit but also made India the first Asian country to reach the orbit of Mars.

The Mangalyaan mission also made India the first country to reach Martian orbit on its first attempt. The Mangalyaan mission brought several laurels to India and strengthened the Indian Space Research Organisation's position amongst the global space agencies, including the American NASA and Russian ROSCOSMOS.

Conception of the Mangalyaan Mission

The unmanned Mangalyaan mission was first publicly recognised by the then ISRO chairman, G. Madhavan Nair, in 2008.

The project began post the successful launch of Chandrayaan-1, with a study in 2010 by the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology about analysing the feasibility of the project in its entirety.

The project was officially approved by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 3 August 2012.

Execution of The Mars Orbiter Mission

The launch date first finalised for the mission was October 28, 2013; however, it was postponed to November 5, 2013 due to unsuitable weather conditions.

Support for TTC ground stations, communications network between ground stations and control centre, control centre including computers, storage, data network and control room facilities, was provided by the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC).

The payload carried by the Mars orbiter were: Mars Colour Camera (MCC), Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS), Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM), Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA), Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP).

The spacecraft for the Mars Orbiter Mission was launched from the First Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.

A network of ground stations continuously tracked the launch vehicle till the spacecraft was separated from the launch vehicle.

To provide support for the tracking of the mission, two ships equipped with Ship Borne Terminals (SBT) were deployed in the South Pacific Ocean.

The Spacecraft Control Centre in Bangalore controlled the spacecraft's operations post separation from the launch vehicle.

Achievements And Recognition For The Mangalyaan Mission

Through its Mangalyaan mission, India not only became the first Asian country to attain the feat of reaching Mars' orbit, it also became the first country to do so on its first attempt.

The Mangalyaan Mission was also lauded for being the cheapest mission to Mars till date.

In 2015, the team behind the mission won the Space Pioneer Award from the US-based National Space Society.

The Mangalyaan mission also earned praise from a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, who called the mission, 'Pride of Asia'.