ISRO Mars Orbiter Team Wins US-based Space Pioneer Award

13/01/2015 1:51 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST
The Mars Climate Orbiter, shown in this illustration, is set to go into orbit around the red planet to become the first interplanetary weather satellite and a communications relay for the next lander mission to explore Mars. The orbiter will fire its main engine at 5:01 a.m. EDT Thursday, Sept. 23, 1999, to slow itself down so that it can be captured in orbit around the planet. The orbiter and the Mars Polar Lander carry instruments that will try to discover the fate of water that may once have formed rivers or lakes on Mars. (AP Photo/NASA/JPL/Caltech)

Chennai, India's Mars Orbiter programme team has won the 2015 Space Pioneer Award in the science and engineering category from the US based National Space Society (NSS), the society said.

In a statement issued in Washington Monday, the NSS said its 2015 Space Pioneer Award in the science and engineering category has been won by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Mars Orbiter Programme team.

"This award will be presented to an ISRO representative during the National Space Society's 2015 International Space Development Conference, the 34th ISDC, to be held in Toronto, Canada," the statement said.

The conference will run from May 20-24.

According to the NSS, India's Mars Orbiter launched Nov 5, 2013 that went into Mars orbit Sep 24, 2014 achieved two significant mission firsts in terms of an Indian spacecraft that has gone into orbit around Mars on the very first try, and that no other country has ever done this. Secondly, the spacecraft is in an elliptical orbit with a high apoapsis, and has a high resolution camera which is taking full-disk colour imagery of Mars.

Very few full disk images have ever been taken in the past, mostly on approach to the planet, as most imaging is done looking straight down in mapping mode.

These images will aid planetary scientists.

The Mars Orbiter programme team located in Bangalore is headed by Mylswamy Annadurai, the statement said.

The NSS is an independent non-profit educational membership organisation dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization.

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