세계 4번째, 아시아 ‘최초’

There were some anxious moments at ground control as technicians waited for news on the orbiter 
 

 

A 24-minute engine burn slowed the probe down enough to allow it to be captured by Mars' gravity 

 

 

 

 

14/09/24 12:09

인도우주연구기구(ISRO)가 발사한 화성탐사기 ‘망갈리안 Mangalyaan’이 24일 화성의 주회궤도 진입에 성공했다. 미, 러시아, 유럽의 탐사기에 이어 화성에 도달한 4번째 성공이며, 아시아에서는 ‘최초’라는 위업을 달성했다.

 

인도는 저비용과 독자적 기술로 우주 대국 진입을 목표로 하고 있다. 궤도 도달에 성공하면 국위 선양으로 이어질 뿐만 아니라 폭넓은 산업 육성에도 기여하게 된다. 향후 우주 개발을 더욱 가속화하는 계기가 될 것으로 보인다.

 

ISRO에 따르면 망갈리안은 24일 오전 7시(한국시간 오전 10시 반)께부터 화성의 궤도 진입을 위한 동작을 개시했다. 화성에 접근하면서 감속, 엔진 분사로 방향을 수정해 오전 8시께 궤도진입에 성공했다.

 

ISRO에 따르면, 이번 계획의 예산은 약 45억 루피(약 800억 원). 이달 21일 화성 궤도에 도착한 미국의 탐사기 MAVEN의 예산은 약 7280억 원으로 알려져 이에 비해 엄청난 저예산으로 성공한 셈이다.

 

망갈리안은 지난해 11월 5일 국산 로켓으로 발사돼 12월 1일 지구 궤도를 벗어나 화성으로 향했다. 이번 달 22일에는 최종 테스트에 해당하는 엔진 시험 분사에 성공했다.

 

망갈리안은 화성에 착륙할 계획은 없지만 고성능 카메라와 대기 중 메탄 및 산소를 관측하는 센서를 탑재하고 있어, 궤도 도착 후 지표 등의 조사를 시작한다.

 

아시아 국가에서는 일본의 탐사기 ‘노조미(のぞみ)’가 2003년에 화성에 접근했지만 고장으로 궤도 진입은 단념한 바 있으며, 중국도 2011년에 실패했다.

 

산스크리트어로 ‘망가르’는 ‘화성’, ‘안’은 ‘탈 것’을 뜻한다.

[뉴델리 교도]

 

India's first Mars satellite 'Mangalyaan' enters orbit

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is one of the cheapest interplanetary missions ever undertaken

 

India has successfully put a satellite into orbit around Mars, becoming the fourth country to do so.

 

The Mangalyaan robotic probe, one of the cheapest interplanetary missions ever, will soon begin work studying the Red Planet's atmosphere.

 

A 24-minute engine burn slowed the probe down enough to allow it to be captured by Mars' gravity.

 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country had achieved the "near impossible".

 

Speaking at the mission control centre in the southern city of Bangalore he said: "The odds were stacked against us. Of 51 missions attempted in the world only 21 have succeeded. We have prevailed."

 

Only the US, Europe and Russia have previously sent missions to Mars, but India is the first country to succeed on its first attempt.

 

The latest US satellite, Maven, arrived at Mars on Monday.

 

US space agency Nasa congratulated its Indian counterpart, the Indian Space and Research Organization (Isro), on Wednesday's success.

 

"We congratulate @ISRO for its Mars arrival! @MarsOrbiter joins the missions studying the Red Planet," the agency tweeted

 

 

 

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is one of the cheapest interplanetary missions ever undertaken


From early in the morning, there was an atmosphere of excitement and tension at the Indian Space Agency's Mission Tracking Centre in Bangalore.

 

Scientists, many of them women and several of them young, were seated in front of their computer monitors tracking the progress of Mangalyaan.

 

Giant screens above their heads fed a steady stream of data, graphics and sequence of operations. The first whoops broke out when Mangalyaan successfully fired up its liquid engine, the first in a series of critical moves to make sure that the spacecraft was able to launch into the planet's gravitational pull.

 

Then there was an agonising 20 minutes, when Mangalyaan disappeared behind Mars and beyond contact.

 

But there was no mistaking the moment, when the scientists all rose as one, cheered, clapped, hugged each other and exchanged high fives - ­ confirmation that Mangalyaan was now on an elliptical orbit around Mars.

 

After PM Modi's congratulations, they poured out into the open and the bright sunlight, beaming as they took in the adulation.

 

"Thrilled to be a part of history," one young scientist told me. "It's like hitting a golf ball from Bangalore to London and getting it into the hole in one go," deputy operations director, BN Ramkrishna said. "It's got to be that precise."

BBC News

 


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