India’s Mars Orbiter Mission ‘Mangalyaan’ Completes 1,000 Days In Orbit
The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) first interplanetary probe -- the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) also known as Mangalyaan -- has completed 1,000 Earth days in its orbit. The mission was launched on Nov. 5, 2013.
“MOM completes 1,000 earth days in its orbit, today (June 19, 2017) well beyond its designed mission life of six months,” ISRO said, as News Nation reported. “1,000 Earth days corresponds to 973.24 Mars Sols (Martian Solar day) and MOM completed 388 orbits.”
According to Deccan Herald, in its successful journey, from launch to completing 1,000 days in orbit, MOM has had many credits and achievements to its name. The probe has been lauded by the international scientific community for being cost effective and the period of the mission’s realization was also short. Moreover, the satellite continues to work smoothly and is in good health, and scientists from India use the data collected by MOM for research and development.
The Mars Orbiter Mission has five scientific instruments on board that include Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS), Mars Colour Camera (MCC), Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA), Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM) and Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP). The MCC has captured and sent back 715 pictures of Mars so far.
During the course of its journey, the mission went through a communication blackout from June 2, 2015 to July 2, 2015 due to solar conjunction. The period of May 18 to May 30, 2016, saw MOM experience the whiteout that took place when Earth was between the Sun and Mars, and excess solar radiation made it impossible for the satellite to communicate with Earth.
The aim of the US$73 million MOM is to study the Martian surface, mineral composition of the planet and scan its atmosphere for methane. Incidentally, the presence of methane will indicate if there is life on the Red Planet.