Highlights:1) Confirming theoretically by analysing thepresence of five elements (Panchaboothams)in Mars andsuggests that Mars will be a possible place for life.2) Comparing the analogies between Hohmann transfer orbit concept and ourancients’ astronomical Science knowledge (prior to Hohmann concept). 3) Suggestions based on idea for makingspacecraft / satellite into particles and sending them through radio waves and assembled them later.
The planet Mars is the fourthplanet from the Sun. It is the second smallest planet in the Solar System. Thename Mars imitates the name of “Roman God of War”. The presence ofiron oxide (hematite) on its surface gives reddish appearance. Hence, thisplanet is called as “Red Planet”. When it is closed to Earth, it caneasily be seen with the naked eye which occurs every two years. Mars has twonatural small and irregularly shaped moons, Phobos (about 14 milesin diameter) and Deimos (about 8 milesin diameter).
They are named after the characters Phobos (panic/fear) andDeimos (terror/dread). Phobos rises in the west, sets in the east. Their originis not well understood. Marsphoto sent by Mangalyaan. Courtesy: ISRO Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thinatmosphere, having volcanoes, valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps. Itsmountain, “Olympus Mons” is the second highest known mountain within the SolarSystem.
It has a largest canyon, “Valles Marineris”. Its basin, “smooth Borealis”in the northern hemisphere covers 40% of the planet. The Mars rock revealed- formation of the oldest extant surfaces of Mars,3.5 to 4.5billion years ago.
Marshas no evidence of magnetic field. It has no oceans and “sea level”. The seasons of Mars are the mostly likein Earth and their lengths are twice than earth seasons because Mars’s greaterdistance from the Sun.
Its surface temperatures vary from lows of about?143 °C to highs of up to 35 °C. Its average distance from the Sun isroughly 230 million km which is 1.52 times more far from the Sun than Earth. Itsorbital period is 687 (Earth) days. The day on Mars is only slightly longerthan the day of Earth: 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 seconds. A Martian yearis equal to 1.8809 Earth years.
Mars has approximately half the diameter of Earth.The dense is also less than Earth. It consists of minerals containing silicon,calcium and oxygen, metals, and other elements. Low boiling points elementssuch as chlorine, phosphorus, and sulphur are more than Earth; besides, themost abundant elements are iron, magnesium, aluminium, calcium, and potassium.
Thepolar caps at both poles consist primarily of water ice. Frozen carbon dioxideaccumulates as a thin layer over them. Till 1965, it is believed about thepresence of liquid water on the planet’s surface. The recent radar data revealsthe presence of large quantities of water ice at the poles. It has been observedthat the possibilities for water flowing in Mars during the warmest months. In2013, NASA’s Curiosity rover discovered that Mars’ soil contains 1.5% to 3%water. The atmosphere of Mars consists of about96% carbon dioxide, small amounts of argon and nitrogen along with traces ofoxygen and water.
Small quantities of Ammonia, methane and formaldehyderecently detected by Mars orbiters claimed possible evidence for life. TheGerman Aerospace Center has discovered that earth lichens can survive insimulated Mars conditions. The simulation is based on temperatures, atmosphericpressure, minerals, and light data from Mars probes. It is essential to notehere that methane could also be created in serpentinization non-biologicalprocess by utilising water, carbon dioxide, and olivine.
The Phoenix lander data related tothe Martian soil illustrate that the soil is slightly alkaline nature (pH 8.3) and contains elements like magnesium, sodium,potassium and chlorine.These elements arenecessary for the growth of plants. The presence of five elements (Panchaboothams)in Mars i.
e. water, fire, air, space, earth (land) indicates / confirms /suggests that it will be a possible place for life. Ancient Chinese literature confirms thatthe red planet Mars was identified by the Chinese astronomers before the fourthcentury BC. In the fifth century, the Indian astronomical text SuryaSiddhanta estimated the diameter of Mars. In the East Asian cultures, Marsis traditionally referred to as the “fire star”, based on the “Fiveelements”. Mars isson of Earth. Mars is Roman god of war and bloodshed.
Spear and shield are thesymbol of Mars. Because of the rich content of iron, both Mars soil andhemoglobin of human blood are in deep red color. In astrology, Mangalais the name for Mars, the red planet. It is also called Angaraka or Rakta varna (one who is red in colourlike blood) or Bhauma (‘son of Bhumi’) . He is the god of war and iscelibate. He is considered the son of Prithvi or Bhumi, the Earth Goddess,nurtured and brought up by ‘Bhumi’ (earth). Mars orbits the Sun in 687 days.
Itspends 57.25 days in each sign of the zodiac. Dozens of unmanned spacecraft, includingorbiters, landers, and rovers, have been sent to Mars by the Soviet Union, theUnited States, Europe, and Japan. Now, it is host to seven functioningspacecraft: five in orbit – the Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, MarsReconnaissance Orbiter, MAVEN and Mars Orbiter Mission – andtwo on the surface – Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity and the MarsScience Laboratory Curiosity. With the development of new technologies, various orbiters, landers, androvers, it is now possible to study astronomy from the Martian skies.
Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is also known as Mangalyaan(“Mars-craft” from Sanskrit- mangala,”Mars” and yana, “craft, vehicle”), a spacecraftlaunched on 5 November 2013 (previous plan for launch on 28 October 2013 postponed due to poor weather) by the IndianSpace Research Organisation (ISRO) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (Sriharikota,Andhra Pradesh), using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) with fuel-saving Hohmann transferorbitconcept. After 298 days with 780,000,000 km (480,000,000 mi) distancetravel, it is orbiting Mars since 24 September 2014. MOM has been inserted intoMars orbit 41 hours earlier than actual orbit insertion plan at an altitude ofabout 1300 miles from Mars. Its on-orbit life is six-ten months. A minimum of 20 kgof fuel is necessary forthe six-month life span but ithas been leftwith 40 kg of fuel. The mass of MOM was1,350 kg including a liquid fuel engine with 852 kg propellant (thebipropellant combination monomethylhydrazine and dinitrogen tetroxide toachieve the thrust necessary for escape velocity from Earth). The aim was togradually build up the necessary escape velocity (11.2 km/s) to break freefrom Earth’s gravitational pull while minimising propellant use.
Electric powerrequired for MOM is generated by solar panels for maximum of 840 watts powergeneration and stored in Li-ion battery. It carries five instruments (15 kgmass) that will help advance knowledge about Mars to achieve the objectives ofMOM. During the year 2008, after the launch of lunarsatellite Chandrayaan-1, the low cost project MOM mission concept began. Thetotal cost of this project is 454 crore (US$74 million) only.MOMis India’s first interplanetary mission. It makes India is the firstAsian nation to reach Mars orbit on its first attempt.
ISRO is the fourth spaceorganisation in the world which has sent the spacecraft to Mars successfully.Earlier, Soviet space program, NASA, and the European Space Agency have senttheir spacecraft to Mars. The MOM mission is a “technologydemonstrator” project.
It helps to develop the technologies such asdesign, planning, management, and operations related to the future interplanetarymissions. The primary objective is to showcase India’s rocket launchsystems, spacecraft-building, operations capabilities and incorporation ofautonomous features to handle contingency situations. Investigating the surfacefeatures, morphology, mineralogy and atmosphere of the Mars planet utilising theindigenous scientific instruments are the next objective of the MOM mission. The Spacecraft Control Centre ismonitoring Mangalyaanspacecraft.
This controlling centre has been situated at ISRO Telemetry,Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore with support from IndianDeep Space Network (IDSN). Communications are handled by Amplifiers andcoherent transponders. The antenna array consists of low, medium and high-gainantenna. It is used to transmit and receive the telemetry, tracking, commandingand data to and from the IDSN. On 19 May 2017, Mangalyaan spacecraft has completed the 1,000 days in the Marsorbit. It remains in good condition.
Jantar Mantar of Delhi was built to observe,predict the times and movements of Sun, Moon and other planets. January everyyear on Makar sankranti Day, the sunrays fall on the Sivalinga for one hourpasses between Nandi horns of Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple, Bangalore. GandhiMandapam in Kanyakumari has been built in a manner that the sun rays fallexactly over the ash filled urn on October 2, the birth day of Mahatma Gandhi.
On Chithirai 1, 2, and 3 (April) theSunrays fall on the Lingam Sri Yoganandheeswarar temple, Thanjavur, Tamilnadu. Theseare excellent instances to show that ancient Indians were experts in theAstronomical Science. These are analogies to Hohmanntransfer orbit concept but prior it. This concept (Launchopportunities for a fuel-saving Hohmann transfer orbit occurs every 26 months) has involved in Mangalyaan. These are good replies forthe criticism cartoon which was published in The New York Times on 28/9/2014(in which an Indian farmer with a cow knocking on a door of the “EliteSpace Club”) after India’s successful MOM. ISRO plans to send follow-up mission named Mangalyaan2 to Mars bythe year 2020 with orbiter and stationary lander.
The Mars TraceGas Mission orbiter has been planned to launch with the purposes to explore aboutthe methane content as well as its decomposition products such as formaldehydeand methanol of the Mars. During ameeting in 30 September 2014, NASA and ISRO officials signed an agreement toestablish a pathway for current future joint missions to explore Mars. Nanotechnology, android robot and space elevatorwill be used for Mars voyage, in future.
Using tough/low weight nanomaterialslike carbon nanotubes / grapheme and nanofuels will reduce weight of spacecraft. Android is a robotor synthesised mechanical product. It has been created to look as well asto perform like human being. Advancements in robot technology havedesigned functional and realistic humanoid robots. It will correct / repairfaults in spacecraft. A space elevator is a proposed type of spacetransportation system, conceived as a cable fixed to the equator and reachinginto space. Strong and light material like Kevlar can be used as the tethermaterial for elevators. Climbers carry cargo up and down through the cable toreach space without rocket.
The concept is applicable to all planets andcelestial bodies have gravity weaker than Earth (such as the Moon or Mars). Japanesecompany Obayashi has planned to operate a 60,000-mile space elevator by 2050, ata fraction of the cost of space shuttles. It is suggested that making spacecraft / satellite intoparticles and sending them through radio waves and assembled them at Mars asoriginal (like sending / receiving of commands / photos to and from Mars) is abetter option instead of all above technology. Will it be succeeded in future? References / Sources: Mars OrbiterMission – Wikipedia.
2018. Mars Orbiter Mission – Wikipedia. ONLINEAvailable at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Orbiter_Mission.Accessed 09 January 2018.