New Delhi: India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan, has completed two years around the Martian orbit on Saturday September 24, accomplishing its planned mission objectives.
Initially, the life of the Indian Mars orbiter was estimated to be about six months after insertion into the Martian orbit. However, MOM has outlived its estimated life span by a year-and-a-half, bringing cheers to Indian Space Research Organisation scientists who designed, built and launched the spacecraft.
“We are extremely happy with the overall performance of the mission. It was originally meant for only six months of operation. Because of fuel being available we were able to keep the mission for a longer time,” ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar was quoted as saying by Deccan Chronicle.
As Mangalyaan completed its two years in Mars orbit, the Indian space agency has released first year of MOM Long-term archive data (Sept 24, 2014 to Sept 23, 2015) to public.
For data release statement (Click here)
MOM, which is India’s first interplanetary mission, is orbiting around Mars in an elliptical orbit of about 343 km x 71191 km as on 16th September 2016, says ISRO’s data release statement.
MOM is a complex technological mission considering the critical mission operations and stringent requirements on propulsion, communications and other bus systems of the spacecraft.
India witnessed with pride, when the Mars Orbiter” was successfully launched on November 05, 2013 at 2:38 pm by ISRO's PSLV-C25 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre. After a 300 days journey in deep space, MOM was successfully inserted into Martian orbit on 24 September 2014.
Thus, India created history as the first Asian nation to reach Mars orbit, and the first country in the world to do so in its first attempt.
MOM carries a suite of five scientific payloads with a total mass of about 14 kg.
As per ISRO, the images of Mars captured by the Mars Colour Camera have been received and found
to be of very good quality. The MCC has so far produced hundreds of images for various landforms of Martian surface indicating presence of aqueous activity on Mars in climatic history. Also data sets obtained from Mars insertion on 24th September 2014 to 23rd, September ,2015 is released to the public currently.
MOM MCC data has helped scientists in understating the sublimation process on the Martian north pole, where CO2 & H2O ice cover changes significantly as Mars enters into northern hemisphere summer.
Mangalyaan is the first Indian spacecraft to escape the Sphere of Influence of Earth and orbit Sun.
The ISRO’s MOM team won the US-based and prestigious National Space Society’s ‘Space Pioneer Award’ for science and engineering category for the year 2015.
ISRO also won the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development is awarded in recognition of its path-breaking achievement, culminating in MOM, its significant contribution in strengthening international cooperation in peaceful use of outer space.