Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has completed two years in the orbit of Mars. The Mars Orbital Mission was launched on November 5, 2013, aboard ISRO workhorse PSLV-C25 from Satish Dhawan Space Center. The craft set off for a long journey of 300 days before it was re-inserted into the Martian orbit on September 24, 2014.
ISRO is known to carry out planetary missions on a shoe string budget which has stunned the world. The Mars mission was completed on a budget which was less than the budget of Hollywood Film “Gravity.” Innovation is a key aspect of Indian Space endeavor, and this can be seen in the Mars mission.
The mission was originally scheduled for six months, but the craft has been in orbit for more than two years. Scientists have managed to augment the age of the craft and will be doing it in the future also. The instruments on board the craft are in excellent health and are continuously transmitting data about the Martian conditions.
The orbiter carries aboard five scientific instruments. It includes a color camera for taking images of the surface of the planet, methane sensors which measure the amount of methane in the Martian Atmosphere, a Thermal Infra-Red Imaging Spectrometer which can measure the surface temperature of the planet. Also aboard the craft is the Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyzer for analyzing small particles, and a Lyman-Alpha Photometer to measure the abundance of Deuterium and Hydrogen.
The orbiter has already completed all its objectives and has beamed back a tranche of data which also included the images of moons of Mars. The data is being shared by different agencies and space organization around the globe. ISRO has also released a portion of the data for the common public. The craft has been studying the red planet through various seasons. One of the most valuable information gathered by Mars Orbiter aqueous activities of the past Martian climate and a better understanding of Mar’s ice cover changes during summer on the Northern Hemisphere.