What is the current status of Mangalyaan
Flight to Mars: breakdown - but not an accident
"The way to Mars is long and many maneuvers critical for the mission are still pending," says Pascal Lee from NASA's Mars Institute about the difficulties. The space probe, which also bears the Hindi name Mangalyaan ("Mars traveler"), is India's first mission to Mars. In view of the fact that around half of all Mars probes to date have failed, the implementation of this mission is being followed with great international interest. The scheduled arrival on the Red Planet is planned for September 2014.
India's space program has so far focused less on scientific and more on practical applications such as telecommunications and earth observation. With the Mars Orbiter Mission India wants to show that it is also capable of demanding scientific missions. So far, only the United States, Russia and Europe have managed to carry out successful missions to the Red Planet. The technological challenges are great and range from drive technology to navigation and communication in the depths of space to mission planning in the harsh conditions of space.
Mangalyaan has five scientific instruments on board, including a device for determining the methane concentration. This could help clear up the contradicting results of previous missions to Mars. Because it is not yet certain whether the methane on Mars comes from volcanic or possibly even organic sources.
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