MarsNews.com
September 24th, 2014

Mars Robotic Spacecraft Population Reaches New High IEEE Spectrum

September has shaped up to be a very exciting month in the annals of Mars exploration. Two new spacecraft, NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission and India’s first interplanetary mission, the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), have now entered orbit around the Red Planet.
The new arrivals bring the population of active Mars missions to seven—a record high, confirms Bruce Betts of The Planetary Society, a space advocacy organization. On the ground now are Opportunity, which landed in 2004, and NASA’s Curiosity rover, which recently entered its third year of operation.
MAVEN and MOM join a complement of three orbiters: NASA’s 13-year-old Mars Odyssey spacecraft, the European Space Agency’s 11-year-old Mars Express spacecraft, and NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which arrived in 2006.

September 23rd, 2014

Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI) from ISTRAC, Bangalore Indian Space Research Organization

September 23rd, 2014

India’s Mars orbiter set for Red Planet rendezvous (+video) Space.com

India’s first-ever mission to Mars is ready to make its historic arrival this week, hot on the heels of a NASA probe that just reached the Red Planet on Sunday.
After a 10-month trek, India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is expected to reach Mars on at 7:41 a.m. India Standard Time on Wednesday, Sept. 24 (that’s 10:11 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 23) after a firing its engine for 24 minutes to enter orbit around the planet. Confirmation of the success (or failure) of this crucial maneuver should come to ground control minutes later, mission officials have said.
India’s Mars orbiter is named Mangalyaan (Hindi for “Mars Craft”), and is in good health and ready for its Martian rendezvous, officials with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) wrote in updates on Facebook. If all goes well, India will become only the fourth country ever to send a spacecraft to Mars once the orbiter arrives.

September 18th, 2014

MAVEN spacecraft close to entering Mars orbit — and it won’t be alone CNN

NASA says its latest Mars-exploring spacecraft is on track to fire up its thrusters and enter orbit this Sunday night, completing a 10-month journey of 442 million miles.
NASA’s MAVEN craft will live up to its formal name — the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft — by helping scientists figure out how ancient Mars changed so dramatically into the planet we know today.
It will be the first mission devoted to studying the upper Martian atmosphere as a key to understanding the history of Mars’ climate, water and habitability.

September 16th, 2014

Mars Orbiter Mission prepares for Mars arrival The Planetary Society

The countdown for the crucial and nerve-wracking Mars orbit insertion of India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) on September 24 has kicked off. At ISRO’s telemetry, tracking and command network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore, the mood among the scientists is right now a mixture of optimism, excitement, and nervous apprehension. On September 15 at the auditorium of the Mars mission command and control centre at ISTRAC, some of the key players of this mission addressed the media about the sequence of events leading to the orbit insertion. Orbit insertion will take place 48 hours after NASA’s Mars Atmosphere And Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) enters the orbit of the Red Planet on September 22.

August 15th, 2014

Mars Orbiters Duck for Cover Sky & Telescope

As Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring hurtles toward Mars, NASA is taking steps to protect its Martian orbiters. The plan? Use the planet itself as a shield between the spacecraft and the comet’s potentially dangerous debris.
As part of its long-term Mars Exploration Program, NASA currently has two spacecraft orbiting the Red Planet, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and Mars Odyssey, with Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) set to arrive in late September. Teams of scientists at the University of Maryland, the Planetary Science Institute, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) have used data from both Earth-based and space telescopes to model Siding Spring’s journey through the inner solar system, and determined that there is no risk of the comet colliding with Mars. However, at its closest approach to Mars on October 19, 2014, Siding Spring will come within 82,000 miles of the Red Planet, which is about a third of the distance from Earth to the Moon. The closest comets ever to whiz by Earth have been at least ten times more distant.

August 11th, 2014

Mars-Bound Probes Built by India and NASA Are Nearing the Red Planet Space.com

Two Mars-bound spacecraft are both in excellent health ahead of their September arrivals in orbit around the Red Planet, managers for both missions report.
India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is more than 80 percent of the way to Mars and performing well, according to a Facebook update posted July 21 by the Indian Space Research Organization. MOM is expected to enter orbit on Sept. 14.
The second craft, NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN), is also performing well. MAVEN is scheduled to embark on its final approach to the Red Planet on Sept. 21, one week after MOM’s arrival, principal investigator Bruce Jakosky said. After months of checkouts and tests, the spacecraft will now be left quiet until close to the big day.

June 23rd, 2014

India’s 1st Mars Mission Celebrates 100 Days and 100 Million Kilometers from Mars Orbit Insertion Firing – Cruising Right behind NASA’s MAVEN Universe Today

India’s inaugural voyager to the Red Planet, the Mars Orbiter Mission or MOM, has just celebrated 100 days and 100 million kilometers out from Mars on June 16, until the crucial Mars Orbital Insertion (MOI) engine firing that will culminate in a historic rendezvous on September 24, 2014.
MOM is cruising right behind NASA’s MAVEN orbiter which celebrated 100 days out from Mars on Friday the 13th of June. MAVEN arrives about 48 hours ahead of MOM on September 21, 2014.

April 19th, 2014

India’s First Mars Mission Midway Through Its Journey, Nearing Its Goal Business Insider

September 24, 2014, is all set to be a red letter day for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). On this day, India’s Mars spacecraft, Mangalyaan, will enter the Red Planet’s orbit. Midway through its journey, India’s solo Mars mission has captured the imagination of both its citizens and the international space community. If it succeeds, it will be testimony to Indian jugaad – our unique ability to part-innovate and part-improvise – and will also affirm the country’s status as an emerging space superpower.

February 19th, 2014

From India, Proof That a Trip to Mars Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank The New York Times

While India’s recent launch of a spacecraft to Mars was a remarkable feat in its own right, it is the $75 million mission’s thrifty approach to time, money and materials that is getting attention.
Just days after the launch of India’s Mangalyaan satellite, NASA sent off its own Mars mission, five years in the making, named Maven. Its cost: $671 million. The budget of India’s Mars mission, by contrast, was just three-quarters of the $100 million that Hollywood spent on last year’s space-based hit, “Gravity.”