Srinivas Laxman is a space journalist contributing regularly to the Times Of India. He drinks and dreams space and has covered a number of rocket launches at Sriharikota, India’s main rocket launching center, near Chennai. He has visited NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, the Johnson Space Center, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Arianespace’s launch complex at Kourou in French Guyana, South America. He has frequently interacted with a number of top space leaders, including the first and the last men who landed on the moon, Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan. He has written four books—Dreams To Reality: A biography of APJ Abdul Kalam; Moonshot India, the story about India’s Mission To The Moon; Mars Beckons India: The Story About India’s Mission To Mars which focuses on the pre-launch aspect and more recently Indian Martian Odyssey, which deals with the post-launch aspect.
With only 10 days remaining until the arrival of Comet Siding Spring at Mars, ISRO has shielded the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) from the comet. On Tuesday MOM’s orbit was altered so as to move it behind the Red Planet when the comet arrives. MOM will carry out observations of the comet and its Mars Colour Camera will click images of it.
Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) began its science activities fully on Wednesday with all five science instruments being activated. And on Tuesday, an ISRO-NASA Mars working group was formed which will "seek to identify and implement scientific and technological goals that NASA and ISRO have in common regarding Mars exploration."
There was celebration in the Mars mission control room in Bangalore on Monday following the success of the crucial four-second test firing of the Mars Orbiter Mission’s (MOM) 440-Newton liquid apogee motor. MOM will now go ahead with the nominal plan for the Mars orbit insertion on September 24 at 07:30 IST (02:00 UT / September 23 19:00 PDT).