Chennai: India's Mars Orbiter programme team has been honoured with the 2015 Space Pioneer Award in the science and engineering category by US based National Space Society (NSS).
The NSS in Washington, issued a statement Monday which said that the 2015 Space Pioneer Award in the science and engineering category has been won by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Mars Orbiter Programme team.
The prize consists of a silvery pewter Moon globe cast by the Baker Art Foundry in Placerville, California, from a sculpture originally created by Don Davis, the well-known space and astronomical artist. The globe, which represents multiple space mission destinations and goals, sits freely on a brass support with a wooden base and brass plaque, which are created by Michael Hall’s Studio Foundry of Driftwood, TX.
The NSS is an independent non-profit educational membership organisation dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization.
The award will be presented to an ISRO representative during the National Space Society's 2015 International Space Development Conference, the 34th ISDC, to be held in Toronto, Canada.
The conference will take place between May 20-24.
India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) or lovingly called 'Mangalyaan' was launched on Nov 5, 2013 and went into Mars orbit Sep 24, 2014.
According to the NSS, the India's Mars mission achieved two significant mission firsts- (1). An Indian spacecraft that has gone into orbit around Mars on the very first try and that no other country has ever done this.
(2). The spacecraft is in an elliptical orbit with a high apoapsis, and has a high resolution camera which is taking full-disk colour imagery of Mars.
Very few full disk images have ever been taken in the past, mostly on approach to the planet, as most imaging is done looking straight down in mapping mode.
These images will aid planetary scientists.
The Mars Orbiter programme team located in Bangalore is headed by Mylswamy Annadurai, the statement said.
With this achievement, ISRO becomes the fourth space agency to reach Mars after Roscosmos, NASA and ESA.
(With IANS inputs)