The Red Marble

The Red Marble, this is what I thought we’d call the first global image that would be returned by the Mars Orbiter Mission. The name is inspired by the famous 1972 image known as the Blue Marble. This was made possible by the highly elliptical orbit that the spacecraft was designed to take. Today evening, ISRO put out the first global picture of Mars. It kinda looks more like Mysore Masala Dosa, no?

IMG_0634.JPG
Image: Regional dust storm activities captured by the Mars Colour Camera on board the Mars Orbiter Mission. Taken from an altitude of 74,500 km from the surface of Mars. Image Credit: ISRO.

Emily Lakdawalla explains the importance of this image in this blog post. If you are interested in what specific features this image covers Phil Plait aka The Bad Astronomer covers that on his blog here. Stephen Clark of SpaceflightNow reporting from the International Astronautical Congress 2014 at Toronto, Canada reports that ISRO Chairman Radhakrishnan announced that 4/5 instruments have now been activated at the Space Agency Head’s Panel. All good news!

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