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MANGALYAAN – MARS ORBITER MISSION

MANGALYAAN – MARS ORBITER MISSION

  • The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan is a spacecraft orbiting Mars since 24 September 2014. It was launched on 5 November 2013 using PSLV-C25 by the ISRO.
  • It is India’s first interplanetary mission and ISRO has become the fourth space agency to reach Mars, after the Soviet space program, NASA, and the European Space Agency. It is also the first nation to reach Mars orbit on its first attempt, and the first Asian nation to do so.
  • The mission is a “technology demonstrator” project to develop the technologies for design, planning, management, and operations of an interplanetary mission. It carries five instruments that will help advance knowledge about Mars to achieve its secondary, scientific objective.
  • The launch window was approximately 20 days long and started on 28 October 2013. The MOM probe spent about a month in Earth orbit, where it made a series of seven apogee-raising orbital manoeuvres before trans-Mars injection on 30 November 2013 (UTC). After a 298-day transit to Mars, it was successfully inserted into Mars orbit on 24 September 2014.
  • The spacecraft is currently being monitored from the Spacecraft Control Centre at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antenna at Byalalu. The Mars Orbiter’s on-orbit mission life is six-to-ten months.
  • The Orbiter’s dry mass is 500 kg and it carries 852 kg of fuel and oxidiser. Its main engine, which is a derivative of the system used on India’s communications satellites, uses the bipropellant combination monomethyl hydrazine and dinitrogen tetroxide to achieve the thrust necessary for escape velocity from Earth.
  • It was also used to slow down the probe for Mars orbit insertion and, subsequently, for orbit corrections.

OBJECTIVES

The primary objective is to showcase India’s rocket launch systems, spacecraft-building and operations capabilities. Specifically, the primary objective is to develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission, comprising the following major tasks:

  • design and realisation of a Mars Orbiter with a capability to perform Earth­bound manoeuvres, cruise phase of 300 days, Mars orbit insertion / capture, and on-orbit phase around Mars;
  • deep-space communication, navigation, mission planning and management;
  • incorporate autonomous features to handle contingency situations.

The secondary objective is to explore Mars’ surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian atmosphere using indigenous scientific instruments.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

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