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September 23, 2019 - A Trip to Mars for MOM

A Trip to Mars for MOM  Five years ago this week, the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) first interplanetary mission, the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) arrived at Mars. ISRO was the fourth space agency to reach Mars (after the Soviet space agency, NASA, and the European Space Agency), but it was the first to do so on the first try. Equally impressive, ISRO launched MOM on a rocket of its own design, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. Also known as Mangalyaan, from the Sanskrit words for “Mars craft,” MOM arrived at Mars after a journey of 298 days and entered a highly elliptical orbit, with a close approach to Mars, or periareon, of 421 km (262 mi), and a farthest point (apoareon) of 76,993 km (47,841 mi). This MOM image, taken in 2014, shows dust storms in the northern hemisphere.  

Image credit: ISRO

Weekly Calendar

September 23 - 29, 2019

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 23

Equinox 3:50 AM ET

1783: Caroline Herschel discovers NGC 253
1846: J. G. Galle discovers Neptune
1962: “The Jetsons” premieres
1977: Third glide test of space shuttle Enterprise

Moon phase Tuesday 24

1930: John Young born
1962: MOOSE astronaut rescue system proposed
1970: Luna 16 returns lunar soil samples
1999: IKONOS-1 launched
2014: Mars Orbiter Mission enters orbit around Mars

Moon phase Wednesday 25

Vesta appears stationary

1973: 59-day Skylab 3 mission ends
1992: Mars Observer launched
1997: STS-86 Atlantis launched
2008: Shenzhou 7 launched
2013Soyuz TMA-10M launched carrying ISS Expedition 37/38 crew
2014Soyuz TMA-14M launched carrying ISS Expedition 41/42 crew

Moon phase Thursday 26

Moon phase Friday 27

Moon at perigee

1814: Daniel Kirkwood born
2007: Dawn spacecraft launched

Moon phase Saturday 28

New Moon 2:26 PM ET
Mercury 1.4° north of Spica

Moon phase Sunday 29

Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset

Mercury 6° south of Moon

1977: Salyut 6 space station launched
1988: STS-26 Discovery launched, first shuttle flight since Challenger disaster
2001: First satellite launch from Alaska
2009: MESSENGER makes its third and final flyby of Mercury

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