It has been exactly a month that India's first Mars expedition shuttle has been orbiting the red planet. To celebrate the victorious moment of sustaining its ride for a month around Mars, Google has put up a doodle in the India search page (Google Homepage).
Unlike most of the animated, moving or interactive doodles that the search engine giant normal posts from time to time highlighting many occasions, this one is a static and shows the Mangalyaan in outer space with a portion of the red planet behind it.
India's Mars Orbiter Mission, or Mangalyaan (Sanskrit for Mars craft), started orbiting Mars on September 24. It that took off into space on November 5 last year for the expedition. It has been one of the biggest scientific achievements for India, putting ISRO, India's space agency, in the select group of four space agencies that have successfully sent a probe to Mars orbit.
What is incredible to know about Mangalyaan is that it is the world's cheapest Mars mission. Moreover, India was the first Asian country and the fourth space power after the US, Europe and Russia to send a spacecraft to Mars.
If in case you are unaware of the space shuttle, here are some of the details that you should know:
Mangalyaan goes around Mars in an elliptical orbit with the closest point around 420km and the farthest around 80,000km. Moreover, it employs five sets of equipment that collectively weigh 15kg to do scientific studies. Its Lyman alpha photometer measures the relative abundance of deuterium and hydrogen in the upper Martian atmosphere to understand previous presence of water on the red planet. A methane sensor is looking for sources of the gas. While the Mars colour camera clicks away, a thermal infrared spectrometer studies heat emission, minerals and soil on Mars.
So far, several countries have launched Mars missions, but counting all at once, out of the 51 attempts, only 21 have been successful.