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'Lucky Peanuts' wish from NASA to ISRO on Mars mission

BANGALORE (PTI): It is a 'lucky peanuts' wish from the NASA to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on its ambitious mission to Mars.

As the ISRO geared up for the Mars Orbit Mission (MOM) 'Mangalyaan', NASA wished the Indian space agency with lucky peanuts on its Facebook page for the MOM, scheduled for launch on November 5 from Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota.

The good wishes message titled 'lucky peanuts' was posted on the ISRO's recently created MOM Facebook page by NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL).

"As you prepare for your launch to Mars, do not forget one of the few, but important actions: pass around the peanuts!" a post by JPL on ISRO's MOM Facebook page read.

The American NASA/JPL is also providing communications and navigation support to this mission to the Red Planet with their deep space network facilities.

Illustrating the tradition of peanuts for Mars Mission at JPL, the post read: "It goes back to the 1960s with the very first missions we sent to the moon. We had seven mission attempts to go the moon before we succeeded, and on the seventh one, they had passed out peanuts in the control room."

"Ranger 7, which in July 1964 became the first US space probe to successfully transmit close images of the moon's surface back to the earth, made the peanuts into a tradition at JPL," it added.

Stating that ever since, it has been a long standing tradition to hand out peanuts "whenever we launch and whenever we do anything important like land on Mars", the post by JPL read: "We use all the luck we can get!"

Giving away another traditional secret to ISRO, followed during the launch that has proved lucky to NASA, the post said "For MSL, (Mars Science Laboratory) we put a label on the jar that says "dare mighty things."

"This phrase was taken from Theodore Roosevelt's quote, "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live In the grey twilight that knows nether victory nor defeat.""

The post greeted ISRO and its Scientist's with slogans - "GO MOM!!!" "GOOD LUCK MOM!" "DARE MIGHTY THINGS".

ISRO's MOM joined Facebook on October 22 and has received more than 11,850 likes in a short span.

To update people with the daily developments about India's Mars Orbit Mission, IRSO has opened the Facebook page.

"Our website has daily updates of the developments taking place in the project. Despite this, there were requests from the people and media personnel to have a Facebook page that could give daily updates on the mission," said a senior ISRO officer.

The officer said many were of the opinion that receiving Facebook updates on their phone and tablets is easier when one does not have access to laptops or desktops to get the information on the mission.

He also said this offered a faster means of communication, with wider following than making people visit the website and browse through the web-pages.

The Facebook page "ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission" also has over 12,300 likes and over 10,000 are talking about the misson. The page can also be acessed by visiting ISRO's webiste, if one is not on Facebook.

The page not only has updates but also carries informative pieces about the different stages involved in the mission.



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