The Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft, which entered the Martian orbit on September 24, 2014, has completed two years of its life around the red planet.
On Saturday while announcing this great news to media, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said, “The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) completed two years around Mars on September 24, 2016, and had accomplished its planned mission objectives. MOM and all its scientific payloads are in good health, and it continues to provide valuable data on the Mars surface and its atmosphere.”
The life of the Indian Mars orbiter was estimated to be about six months after insertion into the Martian orbit. But now it has been 2 years for MOM, making Indian Space Research Organisation scientists who designed, built and launched the spacecraft extremely happy and proud.
On this occasion, ISRO celebrated the second birthday of Mars orbiter in Red Planet by publishing archive information of the operation from the date of starting to September 2015 and said that the rest of the information would be released soon.
“We are extremely happy with the overall performance of the mission. It was originally meant for only six months of operation. Because of fuel being available we were able to keep the mission for a longer time,” ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar told media.
At present, the MOM and all its scientific payloads are in good health and it continues to provide valuable data regarding the planet's surface and its atmosphere.
After a 300 days journey in deep space, on September 24, 2014, India's Mars Orbiter Spacecraft has successfully entered into an elliptical orbit around planet Mars.
With successful Mars orbit insertion, Isro had became the fourth space agency to successfully send a spacecraft to Mars orbit and India became the first country in the world to do so in its first attempt.
The increased duration of observation of Mars by five scientific payloads is enhancing the planetary science data and also enabling coverage of Mars in different seasons, said ISRO.
The images of Mars captured by the Mars Colour Camera (MCC) have been received and found to be of very good quality and the camera has so far produced hundreds of images for various landforms of the Martian surface, indicating the presence of aqueous activity on Mars in climatic history.
Talking about the achievements, the ISRO’s MOM team received the US-based and prestigious National Space Society’s ‘Space Pioneer Award’ for science and engineering category for the year 2015.
ISRO also got the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development is awarded in recognition of its path-breaking achievement, culminating in MOM, its significant contribution in strengthening international cooperation in peaceful use of outer space.
MOM's MCC data has helped us in understating the sublimation process on the Martian north pole, where CO2 & H2O ice cover changes significantly as Mars enters into northern hemisphere summer, said Isro.
The dust patterns around high altitude regions and in Valleys were also studied and the mean height of dust layer was estimated to be 1.5 km. Albedo using the 1.65 micron studies of the reference channel of MSM was also estimated, said Isro.
Joint morphological studies using MCC and the high resolution mineralogical data with NASA's CRISM data has been carried out, which enables the identification of different minerals like sulphates and ferrous-based compounds on the surface of Mars.
Imaging of the two Moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, by the MOM have revealed new details about these moons.
(With agency input)