India’s Mangalyaan unmanned Mars Orbiter Mission is successfully launched on its way to red planet

by | Nov 5, 2013 | China, exploration, History | 0 comments

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched India’s first Mars probe, the Mangalyaan Mars Orbiter Mission, which was launched by a PSLV-XL from the Sriharikota launch site at 0908 GMT on 5 November 2013.  There was a reported very slight over performance of the difficult-to-predict performance of the solid rocket third stage which was compensated for (as expected) by the fourth stage burn.  Having reached an initial 247 x 23,566km elliptical orbit around the Earth, the spacecraft separated successfully from its launch vehicle 53 minutes after lift off. The Mangalyaan spacecraft’s the orbit will now be raised in six firings to 600 x 215,000km orbit before final burn will inject the spacecraft into a high efficiency Hohmann transfer orbit. The journey to Mars is expected to last 299 days.

Scientists have plans to insert the satellite in an orbit around Mars on 21 September 2014 where it will be used for atmospheric research with a special emphasis on examining whether methane exists in the Martian atmosphere in significant quantities which might be indicative that life was once present on the planet.

If the mission is successful, the flight would be a filip to the Indian space programme which has been beset with criticism both over its spending on glamorous interplanetary spaceflight rather than more mundane space missions such as Earth resources satellites that would more of a help to its poor, and over its poor success rate especially in respect to its GSLV launch vehicles.

India has also had to endure living in the shadow of its rival China (China is India’s main military and poltical regional rival and not Pakistan as is often assumed) whose manned and lunar space programmes has eclipsed its own smaller scale efforts.   However, China has yet to launch a successful mission to Mars. Its attempt sending its small Yinghuo 1 orbiter to the Martian system by hitching a ride with Russia’s Phobos-Grunt mission ended in failure in November 2011 when the Russian probe’s transfer orbital injection went awry.  As such, if Mangalyaan reaches the red planet and operates successfully, it would score a point over China.

Space analysts and commentators around the world have noted the relative low cost quoted for this Indian interplanetary mission which has come in at the equivalent of just $70 million – roughly less than a quarter of the price of an equivalent US or European Mars spacecraft and launch. Space flight commentators have also been impressed by the speed of construction given that it was only 14 months since the Indian government originally announced the project.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned Seradata database. Trusted by over 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, Seradata is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles

China launches four meteorology satellites to LEO, part of Tianmu-1 fleet

At 0909 GMT on 22 March, a Kuaizhou-1A rocket built by CASIC affiliate ExPace Technology Corp carried four meteorological microsatellites Read more

Chinese Long March 3B/E launches earth observation satellite into orbit

China successfully launched a Chinese Long March 3B/E rocket carrying the a new geostationary Earth observation satellite, Gaofen-13 02. The Read more

NASA uses CLPS programme to contract lunar ride for Firefly’s Blue Ghost 2 lunar lander and ESA’s Lunar Pathfinder comms relay spacecraft

Firefly Aerospace has been awarded a second CLPS transportation order to the Moon, this time for the Blue Ghost 2 Read more

NASA unveils new spacesuits for Artemis astronauts moon landing

A new style, for a new space era - that's the message NASA wants to send with the unveiling of Read more

Chinese launch remote sensor satellite on Long March 2C

China successfully launched a Long March 2C from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre at 0402 GMT on 13 March. The vehicle Read more

China launches pair of Tianhui 6 cartography satellites

At 2241 GMT on 9 March, China launched a pair of Tianhui-6 satellites to sun-synchronous LEO. The mission took place Read more

China reveals a model of its human lunar landing craft as it pursues fast and slower strategies for lunar exploration

China has revealed a model of its lunar landing craft at the National Museum of China in Beijing, with which Read more

Shenzhou 15 crew completes second spacewalk from Chinese Space Station under veil of secrecy

Under a veil of secrecy, Shenzhou 15 taikonauts Fei Junlong and Zhang Lu exited the Chinese Experiment Module I (Wentian/CSS) Read more




nasaspacexecoreviewsissesaArianespacevideochina25virgin galacticfalcon 9ULARoscosmosDGAaviation weekaressoyuzIGTevaFalcon 9v1.2FT Block 5spacewalkBeidouawardsInternational Space StationspaceSatellite broadcastingBlue OriginrussiamoonStarlinkCargo Return VehicleresearchboeingmarsblogAirbus DSOneWebRocket LaborionISROimpacthyperbolamarsdelayjaxaspaceshiptwodemocratgoogle lunar prizerocketlunarhypertextobamaEutelsatlaunchVegatourismconstellationbarack obamafiguresSESnorthspaceflightnode 2fundedthales alenia spaceRaymond LygoIntelsat2009romeAtlas VExpress MD-2dassault aviationss2Elon MuskaviationLucy2008wk2Lockheed Martinukradiotestmissilesuborbitaldocking portexplorationsstlVirgin OrbitinternetChina Manned Space Engineeringsts-122Ariane 5 ECASLSmissile defensenewspapercotsgalileospace tourismflight2010Ariane 5Express AMU 1spaceportbuildspace stationaltairElectronshuttleProton Minternational astronautical congressNorthrop GrummanIntelsat 23Cosmosscaled compositesEuropean Space AgencyLauncherOnehanleybudgetrulesnew yorksoyuz 2-1aLong March 2D/2shenzhouAriane 6atvspace shuttleVietnamLong March 4CcongressMojaveboldenOrbital ATKiacGuiana Space Centercnesnew shepardLong March 2CUK Space AgencyksclawsSpace Systems/LoralprotonUS Air ForceILSInmarsatLong March 4BTalulah RileyApollodarpaeuSkylonAstriumlanderdragonbaseusaastronautpictureeventSSLfivelunar landerfalconSea LaunchWednesdayinterview50thSNCAprilVega CKuaizhou 1ASpace InsuranceTelesat7customeratlantisLong Marchlinksuccessorgriffin