In a statement issued in Washington Monday, the NSS said its 2015 Space Pioneer Award in the science and engineering category has been won by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) Mars Orbiter Programme team.
"This 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 statement said. The conference will run form May 20-24.
The NSS detailed the Mars Orbiter's list of accomplishments, saying that it achieved two significant mission firsts in terms of the first Indian spacecraft to reach Mars orbit, and making India the only country to do it on the first try. Isro's Mangalyaan launched on November 5, 2013, and went into Mars orbit on September 24, 2014. 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.
Written with inputs from IANS