ISRO's Mangalyan at Launch


Shakuntala Devi - India's Human CalculatorYesterday’s Google Doodle honored what would have been the 84th birthday of Shakuntala Devi, an Indian mathematician and writer who has been dubbed “The Human Calculator”. It is because of great minds like Ms. Devi’s that India could accomplish the historic feat that occurred in the realm of mathematics and physics today.

A spacecraft was launched on a path for Mars with the intention of garnering and enhancing knowledge of space exploration and technology. The spacecraft is called Mangalyan which means “Mars craft” in Hindi. If Mangalyan reaches Mars, India will be the fourth nation to reach the “Red Planet”. The journey to Mars is expected to take 300 days.

K. Radhakrishnan, the Chairman of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) said, “The journey has only begun. The challenging phase is coming”.


Mars Rover at Sunset


History of Mars Exploration

1962: The Soviet Space Program launched Mars 1 on November first with the intention of capturing                      images of Mars’ surface and to gather data on the planet’s magnetic field, radiation levels, and                    atmospheric structure. Mars 1 was the first spacecraft to ever reach Mars.

2001:  NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Mars Odyssey entered Mars’s orbit on                  October 24. It’s mission was to find evidence of water or volcanic activity on the planet. In 2008,               it was confirmed that water was present on Mars in a frozen state.

2003: ESA’s (European Space Agency) Mars Express was launched on June 2. It’s mission was to study                Mars’ surfaces, subsurfaces, interior and exterior. It also wanted to assist in finding evidence of                   water on the planet. In 2004, the Mars Express detected ice water in Mars’s South Polar ice cap. It              additionally found methane and ammonia in Mars’ atmosphere at alternating levels, indicating that              life could exist on Mars.

2013:  ISRO’s (Indian Space Research Organization) Mangalyan was launched on November 5th.