India’s Mars Orbiter Mission

India launched its Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) with its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) launcher and everything, including the weather, performed as expected. The 1340KM Mars bound probe with a 15km  package of five science instruments will arrive at Mars in December next year. Currently MOM is in Earth orbit where it will remain for […]

Mars Beckons India – Mars mission set for November launch

The dramatic announcement by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in August 2012 to launch a mission to Mars surprised everyone. It went further. In order to catch the next Mars launch window ISRO committed to a launch in November 2013. Miss that and they will have to wait for at least two years for the next one. This is an extra-ordinarily bold undertaking for a space agency with the experience of only a single mission beyond Earth orbit under its belt.

Episode 55: 4 August 2012: Mars Curiosity Rover

Since the mid 1970s six spacecraft (Viking 1 & 2, Sojourner, Opportunity, Spirit and Phoenix)  have successfully landed on the surface of Mars. In probably the most audacious, breathtaking and risky space missions, in less than two days, another  Mars Curiosity Rover will arrive on Mars. Using a technique never used before, NASA has described […]

Mars Curiosity’s seven minutes of terror – in less than 3 minutes

Mars Curiosity landing in a nutshell (less than 3 minutes audio below)  by Dr Anita Sengupta  from the Entry Decent & Landing and Advanced Technologies group at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Full interview in Episode 55 – tomorrow.