Planetary Society India (PSI) in association with Space Science Academy (SSA) announced the launch of KALAM MARS OBSERVATION CENTER Project by releasing poster on 26 August, 2015 along with invitation to Schools/NGO's.
Details of the Project:
I. Series of Lectures by Experts: as part of this project to sensitize students lectures would be conducted with the help of resources persons of Space Science Academy and PSI on important topics
i. Various Space Exploration Mission
ii. Dr. Kalam’s life and legacy
iii. Updates of Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)
NEED OF THE PROJECT:
I. Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) – New Data – Awareness: ISRO Mars Orbiter Mission was launched on 5 November, 2013 and it was inserted into orbit of Planet Mars on 24 Sept 2014. Placing India among the elite few to achieve such an endeavor.
Since then MOM has been observing and publishing spectacular images about Mars. However outreach programme to create awareness about this Mission or its results in not sufficient.
II. Dr.A.P.J. Kalam – Journey: death of Dr. Kalam has created greater void in space science popularization movement in the country. Which Dr.Kalam has undertaken to inspire the students of India. However there is urgent need to continue efforts Dr. Kalam reaching out Students. Hence this Project in its name and purpose or vision is tribute to legendary scientist to inspire future Scientists.
III. Planet Mars Journey - to get closer to earth: On June 14 2015 Earth was in superior conjunction with the Sun as seen from Mars. This event marks the start of 2016 apparition of Mars.
Mars Opposition 2016: A planet is at opposition when it is directly opposite the Sun from our viewpoint on Earth. So on 22nd May 2016 Sun-Earth- Mars would be in opposite to each other from our perspective. The result is that the object in question will be fully illuminated by the sun and appears disk-like. Importantly during opposition the planet in question would be at its closest approach and thus would appear more big and brighter than usual it can get in its orbit. However this coming together doesn’t happen suddenly.
In other words like all the planets in our solar system, Earth and Mars orbit the sun. However Earth being closer to the sun, races along its orbit more quickly than Mars, Jupiter etc.... Earth makes two trips around the sun in about the same amount of time that Mars takes to make one trip. So sometimes the two planets are on opposite sides of the sun, very far apart, and other times, Earth catches up with its neighbor and passes relatively close to it.
In 2016 Mars Closest & Brightest in last 10 Years : On 30 May 2016 Mars will be Closest to Earth 0.50321 AU = 75.28 million km. The Minimum Distance from Mars to Earth is 55.7 Million km whereas Max. Distance is 401.3 Million Km. as on today 26 August, 2015 Mars is at 378 Million km from Earth.
Importance of Mars Opposition to Science – ISRO/NASA Mars Missions: once in every 26 months when earth and mars close to earth they provide excellent opportunity to launch mission and reach in shorter distance. Mars Orbiter Mission was launched on 5 November 2013 keeping in view the Mars Opposition event of year 2014.
IV. Presently NASA Insight Mission, ESA – Exomars Mission – Mars Opposition of 2016: taking benefit of Mars Opposition event of 2016 NASA is sending its INSIGHT Mission to Planet Mars in March 2016. Whereas European Space Agency in association with Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) is sending first of its two spacecrafts in 2016 and next being planned for 2018.
Send Your Name to Mars: Importantly NASA unlike our project launch global outreach programme where it invites people around the world to send their name to Mars. General public can click here for the link to NASA Page for sending their names to Mars.
Spot Planet Mars from 1Sept – Follow Weekly updates: Further starting Sept 1 hour before Sunrise looking east people can spot planet Mars as non-twinkling Dot in the Sky. However as weeks passby people can note the difference in increase of brightness or size as the planet Mars meets earth for close encounter in May 2016. People can follow weekly updates of Mars & others on www.twitter.com/infopsi