ISRO Plans Second Mars Orbiter Mission After Mangalayaan Success
Following the success of the Indian Space Research Organization's (ISRO) Mangalayaan Mission, the Indian space agency is currently under preparation for its second Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM-2) for a more accurate probe on the Red Planet's surface and atmosphere.
The TeCake reported that the first MOM just recently completed its revolution around Mars within two years (one year in Mars is equivalent to two years on Earth) and has already collected impressive photos of the Red Planet's surface and weather patterns. The data that contained information on Mars' composition, methane abundance, ratio of hydrogen and deuterium were then sent to Earth for detailed analysis.
The collected data were taken with the use of the spacecraft's four major sensors: Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA), Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP), Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM) and Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS).
The Mangalayaan Mission was launched on Nov. 5, 2013 and has entered the Mars orbit on Sep. 24, 2014, after a nine-month travel. This mission made India the first country in the world to send a successful orbiter to Mars on its first attempt. The first MOM was applauded for its success and has earned the prestigious Space Pioneer Award in 2015.
On its second mission, ISRO plans to use the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), equipped with more powerful mechanisms for more accurate data.
"The question still exists that whether life existed on Mars and can it be possible in future," Ritu Karidhal, the project manager of MOM told Times of India. "The atmospheric studies of Mars using data sent by MOM would help in knowing whether the remote planet has methane or any form of carbon in its atmosphere. If such traces are found, the planet can have life like it is hoped to have had in the past."