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Mars missions: Successes and failures

AP/PTI
Published Sep 24, 2014, 5:18 pm IST
Updated Mar 31, 2019, 2:18 am IST
The former Soviet Union made the world's first attempt in 1960, but the satellite didn't get far from Earth
A rocket carrying the Mars orbiter takes off from the east-coast island of Sriharikota (Photo: PTI/File)
 A rocket carrying the Mars orbiter takes off from the east-coast island of Sriharikota (Photo: PTI/File)

New Delhi/Bangalore: Getting a spacecraft to orbit Mars is a complex mission that few countries have attempted, and even fewer have achieved.

The former Soviet Union made the world's first attempt in 1960, but the satellite didn't get far from Earth. The United States had the first successful mission four years later, when a flyby satellite, Mariner 4, beamed 21 images of the red planet's surface back to Earth.

 

Since then, more than half of the 41 attempts have failed for myriad reasons including rocket malfunction, radio failure, fuel troubles and missed landings.

Here is a breakdown of successful and failed attempts:

US: 15 successful attempts, 4 failures

USSR: 2 successful attempts, 14 failures

Russia: 2 failures

European Space Agency: 1 success

Japan: 1 failure

India: 1 success

Mars Orbiter Mission: Chronology of events

India on Wednesday successfully placed its Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) in the Red Planet's orbit.

Following is the chronology of events that traces the journey of Mangalyaan which lasted over 300 days:

Nov 5, 2013: ISRO's PSLV C25 launches India's Mars Orbiter Mission from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

Nov 7: First Earth-bound manoeuvre performed.

Nov 8: Second Earth-bound manoeuvre performed.

Nov 9: Third Earth-bound manoeuvre performed.

Nov 11: Fourth Earth-bound manoeuvre performed.

Nov 12: Fifth Earth-bound manoeuvre performed.

Nov 16: Sixth Earth-bound manoeuvre performed.

Dec 1: MOM leaves Earth's orbit, Trans-Mars Injection performed.

Dec 4: MOM leaves Earth's Sphere of Influence of 9.25 lakh km radius.

Dec 11: First course correction manoeuvre performed on the spacecraft.

Jun 11, 2014: Second course correction manoeuvre executed.

Sept 22: MOM enters Mars' Gravitational Sphere of Influence; 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor test fired after over 300 days of dormancy; last trajectory correction manoeuvre performed.

Sept 24: MOM reaches the intended orbit around Mars, making India the first country in the world to have successfully launched its mission to the Red Planet on the very first attempt.

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