ISRO Mangalyaan Completes Five Years Orbiting Mars

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ISRO Mangalyaan Mars mission has completed five years of orbiting the Red Planet. The original mission term was planned to last only six months, but it will continue orbiting for some more time, notes ISRO's chief K Sivan. The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) marked India's first interplanetary mission and has played an important role in preparing for a Martian Atlas.

ISRO Mangalyaan Completes Five Years

 

"It's working and continuously sending pictures. It still has some time to go," said the ISRO chief to PTI. Over the past five years, the Mars orbiter has beamed back thousands of images, totaling up to two terabytes.

ISRO Mangalyaan Findings

The ISRO Mangalyaan orbiter is equipped with the Mars Colour Camera to shoot close distance images of Mars' two moons - Phobos and Deimos. The Mars Orbiter is the only Martian satellite to capture the full discs of the planet in one view frame. This also includes images of the most distant part of Deimos.

Mangalyaan has also been instrumental in extracting information about dust storms. The info says that a Martian dust storm can rise to hundreds of kilometres. All of this data has helped produce 23 publications in peer-reviewed journals, ISRO noted.

ISRO Mangalyaan Completes Five Years

ISRO Mangalyaan Mission Cheapest?

Adding to the success hat, MOM is considered as one of the cheapest satellites to be launched. It's believed to be cheaper than NASA's Maven Orbiter, which is similar to Mangalyaan. The mission costed less than the Hollywood movie "Gravity"! The exact budget for the launch vehicle, ground segment, and the spacecraft cost Rs. 450 crore.

 

ISRO Mangalyaan Lifetime

Mangalyaan is India's first endeavour to cross the Earth's orbit successfully. ISRO says that the orbiter can continue its cycle for another year. The Mars orbiter is also hailed for its fuel-saving criteria that played an important role in planning the mission. As its lifetime slowly comes to an end, ISRO says fuel could be a limiting factor, which is crucial to maintain the spacecraft's orbit and orientation.

Apart from Mangalyaan, ISRO's Cartosat-1 is also outliving its life in space. Originally, the satellite was sent to capture in-orbit stereo images for three years, but it's been orbiting for 10 years, ISRO said.

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