Monday, 2 December 2013

New Explorers of the Final Frontier

The new month has begun with a bang with the launch of China's latest in a series of missions to Earth's natural satellite, Chang'e 3 with its surface rover, Yuta.

At the same time India's mission to Mars, Mangalyaan, has successfully cleared Earth orbit and is now heading for Mars, a journey that will take it 300 days. Space is truly becoming a busy place; as busy as any other area buzzing with human activity but we are perhaps entering a new era of space exploration. An era where space not only becomes part of the human cosmos, but becomes an essential part for every nation in the world. And we are seeing the beginnings of such a world in the form of our global need and dependency on environmental data and space-based telecoms capability, and maybe someday soon, raw materials.

No boost to interplanetary sojourns is complete without a look back home; here's a parting shot of the Earth taken by Mangalyaan almost 10 days ago. A sort of visual salute to the land of its creators no doubt.
Earth by Mangalyaan, taken on November 20, 2013 (ISRO)
You can read details on the Indian Mars Orbiter Mission here and about Chang'e 3 here.