ISRO’s Mars mission ‘MOM’ completes 6 months : MOM’s life extended further
Bangalore: ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has completed six months by 23rd March, 2015. And this was the time it was expected to last since it was placed in Martian orbit on 24th September, 2014. Even though the mission’s life was scheduled to end by yesterday, now using the fuel on board the spacecraft would allow it to live further more time beyond scheduled time. Now MOM’s life span is increased by few more weeks or even months. MOM has taken many superficial pictures of surface and features of Mars and sent massive data which is under analysis of ISRO experts.
MOM was also called as Mangalyaan. It was initially launched by ISRO on 5th November, 2013. It reached the martian orbit and was placed successfully in martian orbit on September 24th, 2014. This was the India’s first interplanetary mission and with this ISRO became the fourth space agency to reach Mars after the Soviet space programme, NASA and the European Space Agency. India is also the first Asian nation to reach Martian orbit and the first nation to make initial attempt on Martian orbit.
MOM probe lifted up from First launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), Andhra Pradesh using a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket C25 at 14:38 IST on 5th November, 2013. It took 28 days i.e. from October 28th, 2013 for the launch window. MOM probe spent more than 25 days in Earth’s orbit and made series of seven apogee-raising orbital manoeuvres before trans-Mars injection on 30th November, 2013. After 298 days of journey to Mars, it was successfully inserted into Martian orbit on 24th September, 2014.
ISRO scientists say that the mission was a technology demonstrator project which helps to develop the technologies for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission. It carries several advanced machinery which will help in obtaining advanced knowledge about Mars to achieve its secondary scientific objective. Now space craft is monitored by Spacecraft Control Centre at the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore with support from Indian Deep Space Network (ISDN) antennae at Byalalu. Scientist from ISRO says that once the interplanetary experience is gained, spacecraft dependence on international rockets and missions would be minimized and would save high costs.