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Friday, October 24, 2014

Google doodle on Mangalyaan's completion of 1 month in Mars orbit

This morning have you ‘googled’ ? – we are in for a pleasant surprise !!- In a tribute to India's space-technology prowess, Google is celebrating with a doodle today – today’s doodle is on the completion of one month by Mangalyaan in an orbit around Mars. India's Mars Orbiter Mission, or Mangalyaan (Sanskrit for Mars craft), started orbiting Mars on September 24.

The entire Nation celebrated happily on 5th Nov 2013 when Mangalyaan was successfully launched at scheduled  time  at 2:38 pm from Sriharikota. The 1,337 kg Mars Orbiter Satellite  was later put into a 250 km X 23,500 km elliptical orbit. The launch vehicle  used was a PSLV-C25. This is the 25th mission of PSLV and fifth in the XL configuration.

On Sept. 24, 2014 – more was to occur as Mangalyaan successfully fired  its 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) along with eight smaller liquid engines. This Liquid Engines firing operation for 1388.67 seconds changed the velocity of the spacecraft by 1099 metre/sec. With this operation, the spacecraft entered into an elliptical orbit around Mars.  The country joined the United States, European Space Agency and the former Soviet Union in the elite club of Martian explorers with the Mars Orbiter Mission, affectionately called MOM. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country had achieved the "near impossible".

It was a proud moment for all Indians as India became the 4th country to do so. Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second smallest planet in the Solar System, after Mercury. Named after the Roman god of war, it is often described as the "Red Planet" because the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it areddish appearance.  Indian scientists were delighted when Mangalyaan beamed home its greatest photo of the Red Planet yet, a view that reveals the planet from pole to pole. The new photo of Mars from India's Mangalyaan probe was unveiled on Sept 21 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It shows Mars as a red globe in space, with the planet's southern ice cap clearly visible, while a huge dust storm blankets part of the northern region. "Something's brewing here!" ISRO officials wrote in a Twitter post for the Mars orbiter.

The Mangalyaan spacecraft used its Mars Color Camera to capture the amazing photo from a distance of 46,292 miles (74,500 kilometers) above the Red Planet on Sunday (Sept. 28), according to an ISRO photo description. It is the third and best view of Mars from Mangalyaan since the spacecraft arrived in orbit around the planet last week. The Mars Color Camera is one of five different instruments riding aboard Mangalyaan to study Mars from orbit.
Earth imagery from Mangalyaan taken on 19.11.2013.

As we know, the Google search page is not plain.  It has Google logo and many a times animated expressions – which keep changing.  Google has had several logos since its renaming from BackRub. The founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin had nicknamed their search engine ‘backrub’ as the system checked backlinks to estimate the importance of a site.   These special logos, some designed by Dennis Hwang, have come to be known as Google Doodles.~ and today is dedicated to “Mangalyaan completing one month in Mars orbit’ ….. but this google doodle can be seen only in India.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

24th Oct 2014.

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