Over the last several decades there have been how many missions to Mars? (51) Of these attempts 21 were a success, while 30 failed at some point during the mission.
This month that number increases by two as two space agencies, our country’s NASA, and ISRO, the Indian Space Research Organization send their respective vehicles to Mars. Both agencies will be sending an orbiter and both, in part, will be used to study the atmosphere and environment of Mars.
ISRO has launched the MOM spacecraft to Mars this morning.
India’s launch of the MOM mission will be that country’s first attempt at reaching the Red Planet and joining the the ‘club’ of other countries having had missions to the ‘Red Planet’. These are the United States, Russia (former Soviet Union), China, ESA (European Space agency) and Japan. MOM will be a learning mission for the ISRO as the focus will be on mastering the technology involved in a mission to Mars as well as a study of the Martian atmosphere.
Click here to read online or download the mission brochure as a PDF document.
Learn more about the Indian MOM mission at the (ISRO) web site. Launch is set for Tuesday 5 November at around 2 pm IST (8:30 UT, 2:30 am CST – 5 November). The launch will be broadcast live from the ISRO web site. Following an approximately 10 month voyage the MOM orbiter will enter into an elliptical orbit around Mars on 24 September 2014.
On 18 November at around 12:28 CST (18:28 UT) the latest NASA mission to Mars, Mars atmosphere and Volatile Evolution or MAVEN is scheduled for launch with arrival at Mars approximately 10 months later in September 2014. Once the orbiter is in a stable elliptical orbit its primary Science mission will begin and will be in operation for at least 1 full Earth year. The MAVEN mission is the first NASA mission to Mars that will be dedicated to studying the upper atmosphere of Mars to help us better understand the Martian atmosphere and what happened to its original thicker atmosphere.
Learn more about the NASA MAVEN mission at the (MAVEN) web site.
And yes, for those that noticed, the posting title is a play on a great animated Disney film, “Mars Needs Moms”.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.