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Mars Orbiter Mission

18 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 03 December 2013

India's mission to Mars has embarked on its year-long journey to the Red Planet. Renowned science communicator, Pallava Bagla, talks about the significance of India's $100m mission to Mars. The Indian Space Research Organisation Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) complements "Maven", Nasa’s mission to Mars, but it comes at a fraction of the $700m cost. Nonetheless, at $100m, is it money well spent? What benefit is this hi-tech adventure to a country where many of its citizens are still without clean water and electricity?

One of Our Probes is Missing
What do you do (other than panic) when your probe is lost in space? The probe, Messenger, has been designed to travel to Mercury. It is made out of Lego-like blocks connected by a myriad of cables. But even robust and rigorous preparations can sometimes go awry. Back on Earth engineers' hearts flutter when Messenger goes off message and disappears from their monitoring screens. Click interviews Chris Krupiarz who works on spacecraft flight software at Johns Hopkins University.

The science broadcaster Maggie Philbin is the brains behind TeenTech, a scheme to get teenagers involved in technology and coding in particular. We have a special report with some of the children who took part in constructing mobile Lego-like robots on the day of the TeenTech event, as well as the programmers who have volunteered as demonstrators.

(Photo: Scientists and engineers of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) monitor the Mars Orbiter Mission at the tracking centre, ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network © AFP/Getty Images)


3 items
  • MOM

    Pallava Bagla recalls how the mother of all slingshots propelled India’s orbiter to Mars.

  • Messenger off Message

    What do you do when your probe to Mercury goes missing?

  • TeenTech: Maggie Philbin

    Maggie Philbin discusses how TeenTech is flagging up the teenage coders of the future.


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