Once launched, the spacecraft would go around the earth for about 25 days before embarking and then on November 30, it is expected to commence its nine months journey or around 300 days to Martian orbit where it is scheduled to reach in September 2014.
Why this Journey?
In an interview, with The Hindu, Radhakrishnan to a question on what’s the most interesting on Mars, he replies saying Life. So, we talk about Methane...which is of biological origin or geological origin. So, we have a methane sensor plus a thermal infrared spectrometer. These two together should be able to give some information.
He went on to say that “We want to look at environment of Mars for various elements like Deuterium-Hydrogen ratio. We also want to look at other constituents — neutral constituent
“There are several things which Mars will tells us, this is what the scientific community thinks about the life on Mars”, he said, adding that scientists started taking interest on Mars from the 18th century onwards.
ISRO website stated that, one of the main objectives of the first Indian mission to Mars is to develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission.
A. Technological Objectives:
Design and realisation of a Mars orbiter with a capability to survive and perform Earth bound manoeuvres, cruise phase of 300 days, Mars orbit insertion / capture, and on-orbit phase around Mars. Deep space communication, navigation, mission planning and management and incorporate autonomous features to handle contingency situations.
B. Scientific Objectives:
Exploration of Mars surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian atmosphere by indigenous scientific instruments.
Payloads (equipments) to go on the spacecraft
Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP)
On the experiments side, Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP), is an absorption cell photometer and it is aimed at studying the escape processes of Mars upper atmosphere through Deuterium/Hydrogen and it will help to understand especially the loss process of water from the plant.
Methane Sensor for MARS (MSM)
It is designed to measure Methane in the Martian atmospher with PPB accuracy and map its sources. Data is required only over illuminated scene as the sensor measures reflected solar radiation. Methane concentration in the Martain atmosphere undergoes spatial and temporal variations
MARS Colour Camera (MCC)
This tri-colour MCC gives images and information about the surface features and composition of Martian surface. They are usual to monitor the dynamic events and weather of Mars. MCC will also be used for probing the two satellites of Mars Phobos & Deimos. It also provides the context information for other science payloads.
Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS)
It will measure the thermal emission and it can map surface composition and mineralogy of Mars.
Mars Exospheric Neutral Compsotion Analyser (MENCA)
MENCA is a quadruple mass spectrometer capable of analysing the neutral compostion in the range of 1 to 300 amu with unit mass resolution. The heritage of this payload is from Chandra's Altitudinal Composition Explorer (CHACE) payload.