Journey to the orbit of Mars : Om Mangalam Mission Mangalam

Rupkatha Banerjee, Agami Kalarab: Mission Mangal is a proud creation of Indian Cinema. The film captures the attention of the audience, builds the suspense up, gives the necessary comic relief, yet does justice to the main focus : Mangalyan of ISRO.

Director : Jagan Shakti Cast : Akshay Kumar as Rakesh Dhawan.

Vidya Balan as Tara Shinde. Vikram Gokhale as Director of ISRO.

Sonakshi Sinha as Eka Gandhi.

Taapsee Pannu as Kritika Aggarwal.

Nithya Menen as Varsha Pillai.

Kirti Kulhari as Neha Siddiqui.

Sharman Joshi as Parmeshwar Naidu.

H. G. Dattatreya as Ananth Iyer.

Sanjay Kapoor as Sunil Shinde.

Dalip Tahil as Rupert Desai.

Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub as Rishi A

Purab Kohli as Vivek Pillai.

Mission mangal cast

Movie scene

On September 24, 2014, India created history when it achieved success with its first-ever Mars mission, Mangalyan. The mission was launched by ISRO on November 5, 2013, onboard PSLV-C25 rocket which took the Mars Orbiter into space on its twenty-fifth flight.
ISRO aka Indian Space Research Organization was the main focus of the movie “Mission Mangal”.
The movie’s timeline first shows October 2008, with ISRO launching Chandrayaan-1, the first Indian lunar probe under Chandrayaan program. It builds up to the moment of all the scientists involved in it giving a ‘go’ signal to launch the probe.
However Vidya Valan’s character Tara, being the project director made a judgement call. It came into her attention that the probe could go into overheating, but she ignored that factor and as a result, Chandrayaan-1, after successful launching, malfunctioned due to overheating of the star tracking system.
As the mission failed, Akshay Kumar’s character Rakesh, who was in charge, took the blame in front of the press, owin to a very guilty Tara Shinde.
The reason this movie excels is it’s attention to details. All the scientific causes given for each failure and success, every layman explanation of the concepts seemed to make it really easy to follow such an otherwise heavily informed space related theme.
Next, the movie shows how Rakesh is wrongfully demoted to be in charge of ISRO’s Mars mission, a “naam-ka-vasta” scapegoat of a mission, since he couldn’t very well be fired for his failure. The way Tara Shinde inspired Rakesh to take this mission seriously, the way her character was portrayed as both a logical, rational scientist, yet a way too optimistic person; balances out the genius and insanity of a true scientist.
While it was tough to get Rakesh on board with the Mars mission, it was downright impossible to get the other ISRO officers on board. After much hardship, Tara and Rakesh formulate a plan to reach Mars and get the second best team of scientists to make this possible.
Every scientist had a backstory,which made it easier to connect with the characters. After introducing the audience to each of the scientists who would make the Mars mission possible, the movie entered into the main plotline of reaching Mars with the help of a satellite. They named it “Mars Orbiter Mission” or MoM.
As it becomes clear that the government would not spare extra money for the mission, Rakesh learns that MoM cannot take off on the PSLV Satellite, (which was the one that was used to reach the moon) since the available technology has a payload of only 1500 kgs and not enough fuel to fire the rocket to be carried to a distance of almost 54.6 million kilometres.
It was truly interesting, however, to see Tara get excited while cooking and getting the inspiration to send the PSLV to a much greater distance by firing the rocket, switching it off, sending it to a longer orbit, firing it again, thereby repeating the motion till the PSLV leaves the Earth’s gravitational force all the way to Mars.

Mars Orbiter Mission

As Tara Shinde enthusiastically explained how PSLV would reach Mars, thereby making India the first country to ever reach Mars in its first attempt, it became a truly amazing experience for every Indian at the theatre, beaming with pride.
The turmoils were endless, be it the NASA scientist who doubted every move of the MoM mission, be it the personal problems of the scientists involved or the weather, they, or it can be said, we, prevailed.
The movie is educative, entertaining, heart warming and such a feel good movie to watch. The obvious pride of celebrating the ISRO success in 2014 aside, the movie teaches the audience to believe in the impossible, to fight for a cause and to stand tall in front of every doubt for a future we believe in, for a possibility nobody else can see.
The song “Dil mein Mars hai” was both a comic relief and had that special element every Bollywood movie has, which reached the hearts of people in the theatre.
In the final scene, as all the hardships faced by the characters were still fresh in the minds of the audience, the scientists were seen to correct every previous mistake, embrace all the beliefs and logics, counting from -101, using only one battery to lighten the satellite, using plastic to build the body of the satellite, so it’s light weight can be carried by the PSLV-C25, using wolverine clothing material so the solar panels can repair themselves, our hopes are suddenly shattered as a solar storm hits the Mangalyan.
However, without giving away any spoilers as the mission became successful even before the release of the movie, it can be said that most people teared up when Mangalyan reached Mars’ orbit and the Indian flag could be clearly seen on the spacecraft. Pictures were received from Mars and that marked history being made for Indian space adventures.
The movie ended with APJ Abdul Kalam’s words, speech by the Prime Minister of India and acknowledgements to the real scientists as well as the reel scientists.
Brilliant work indeed.
Om Mangalam.
Mission Mangalam.
Jai Hind!


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