ISRO's Mangalyaan programme team wins US-based 2015 Space Pioneer Award

India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MoM) or Mangalyaan programme team won the 2015 Space Pioneer Award.

FP Staff January 13, 2015 15:45:24 IST
ISRO's Mangalyaan programme team wins US-based 2015 Space Pioneer Award

The programme team of India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MoM) or Mangalyaan has won the 2015 Space Pioneer Award in the science and engineering category awarded by US-based educational and scientific group National Space Society (NSS).

ISROs Mangalyaan programme team wins USbased 2015 Space Pioneer Award

Mangalyaan won the 2015 Space Pioneer Award.

In a statement issued by the NSS, it said that the award had been won by ISRO's Mars Orbiter Programme Team. "This award will be presented to an Isro representative during the National Space Society's 2015 International Space Development Conference, the 34th ISDC, to be held in Toronto, Canada," said the statement.

The statement also said that the team was being awarded for its accomplishments of sending the first Indian spacecraft to Mars and making India the first country to do so on the first try.

India's Mangalyaan mission which cost around $74 million and is one of the cheapest space missions, was launched on 5 November, 2013 and successfully entered the Red planet's orbit last year on 24 September.

In November, 2014, Mangalyaan was named among the best inventions of 2014 by TIME magazine which described it as a technological feat that will allow India to flex its "interplanetary muscles."

"Nobody gets Mars right on the first try. The US didn't, Russia didn't, the Europeans didn't. But on 24 September, India did. That's when the Mangalyaan... went into orbit around the Red Planet, a technological feat no other Asian nation has yet achieved," TIME had said about Mangalyaan, calling it "The Supersmart Spacecraft."

On the cost involved to make Mangalyaan, TIME had said that at that price, the Mangalyaan is equipped with just five onboard instruments that allow it to do simple tasks like measure Martian methane and surface composition.

"More important, however, it allows India to flex its interplanetary muscles, which portends great things for the country's space programme and for science in general," TIME had said.

Mangalyaan has five instruments aboard: a camera, two spectrometers, a radiometer and a photometer. It aims to understand the process by which water was lost on Mars, measure methane levels in the Martian atmosphere, map the surface, composition and mineralogy of Mars and take images of the Martian surface.

(With inputs from PTI)

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