Mars Orbiter Mission by India

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Mars Orbiter Mission by India

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) the first India-based interplanetary mission to the planet Mars was launched by PSLV-C25 on November 5th, 2013. ISRO is now the 4th space organization to launch a spacecraft into Mars orbit. Although the mission’s duration is six months MOM was completed for 7 years in orbit on September 24, 2021.

Mission Objectives

The mission’s objectives are primarily technical and consist of the creation, realization, and launch of a Mars Orbiter spacecraft that is capable of functioning autonomously throughout the journey phase Mars orbit insertion and capture and in-orbit orbit phase around Mars. MOM is carrying five scientific payloads that study the Martian surface characteristics, morphology, mineralogy as well as the Martian atmosphere.

Scientific Payloads

Mars remains an area of intense curiosity to scientists in the field of the evolution of planets and extra-terrestrial life. Based on our knowledge of Mars as believed to be an icy and humid planet previously, it’s now seen as dry with a thin and sluggish atmosphere. The way this change has taken place is a matter of inquiry. In this context, this Indian Mars Orbiter Mission carried five payloads of science (about 15 kg).

  1. Mars Color Camera (MCC) to provide images as well as information on the features of the surface and the composition of the Martian surface.
  2. Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS) to map the composition of the surface and mineralogy of Mars.
  3. Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM) MSM is created to detect Methane (CH4) within the Martian atmosphere. The measurements will be the trigger for additional studies to better understand the origins of methane.
  4. Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analysis (MENCA) to study the composition of the Martian higher Atmosphere.
  5. Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP) to measure the amount of deuterium (D) as well as hydrogen (H) which lets us know the processes involved in the removal of water loss from Mars planet.

Analyzing the scientific data gathered by spacecraft Mars Orbiter spacecraft is in the process. Scientific Data archived at ISSDC is available to users’ communities.


  • The highly elliptical orbital geometry of MOM allows the MOM Camera (MCC) to capture snapshots of the full discs and Full disc Mars at its furthest point, and more detailed images from its closest point.
  • The first observation for the first time of the far side of Deimos One among the moons orbiting Mars


  • The Mars Colour Camera, one of the scientific payloads aboard MOM has already produced more than 1100 images to date and has published the Mars Atlas.
  • More than 35 research articles were peer-reviewed in journals.
  • India’s success in executing the complicated task of reaching Mars in its very first attempt, at a cost-effective way (Rupees 45 Cr) has drawn the public’s attention and helped propel the image of India as a credible space fairing country to higher levels. This could open the way to greater possibilities for Space Commerce including launch services and sales in the field of Satellite Imageries.
  • Mars Orbiter Mission is a project of national significance that has drawn the interest of students, the media, the general public as well as the international scientific/technical community. It is important to note that Mars Orbiter Mission has created enthusiasm among the younger generations across the nation, sparked their interest to learn and debate space-related techniques, and has maintained the pace throughout the duration of the mission.

Major results from science

  • The solar coronal dynamics in the post-maxima stage of solar cycle 24 by using S-band radio signaling from MOM (MNRAS 2022)
  • Amplification of escape from the Martian atmosphere during the global dust storms (JGR-Planets 2020)
  • MENCA discovered “hot” (suprathermal that is more active than the thermal) Argon in the exosphere of Mars (GRL 2017). Mars was in perihelion at the time of this observation.
  • Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA) observations have revealed in the very first instance that the amount of oxygen exceeds the amount of carbon dioxide in an elevation of about 270 +-10 km during the night-time perihelion (GRL 2016,).
  • The atmospheric optical depth (AOD) was calculated using Mars Colour Camera (MCC) observations, and the research reported the existence of clouds of lee waves over the south wall of Valles Marineris (Icarus, 2015)

Why did ISRO launch Mangalyaan on a PSLV rocket?

ISRO originally planned the launch of Mangalyaan using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) rocket, instead of the less than 50% strong Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Similar to other Mars missions it is possible that a GSLV rocket would have increased the power of Mangalyaan from Earth orbit and into an interplanetary path toward Mars. Red Planet. However, the rocket had two failures in the year 2010 at the same time that Mangalyaan was being developed.

The fix for the issues identified in the design of the rocket and preparing for a new launch could take between two and three years, which is a very similar timeframe to the November 2013 launch timeframe for Mars. The next launch window was in 2016, so ISRO chose to launch Mangalyaan using PSLV at the end of 2013 rather than.

But the PSLV would be able to place Mangalyaan in an extremely circular Earth orbit. It was the mission of the spacecraft to start its engines at precisely placed places in each orbit many times over the coming weeks in order to put itself in an orbit towards Mars or be unable to reach Mars completely. The design of the trajectory was unusual for a Mars mission, but it was successful. When the spacecraft reached Mars Red Planet roughly 300 days after, it started its engines once more, and then succeeded in entering Mars orbit.

Why is Mangalyaan placed in an extremely elliptical orbit about Mars?

Mangalyaan was launched into the Mars orbit at its closest location to Mars at 420 km (about 261 miles) and its furthest distance at approximately 80,000 km (about 49,710 miles) it is more than the rest of ISRO’s current Mars missions. In the past, ISRO has reduced the orbit’s dimensions, but the size hasn’t significantly changed in comparison to other missions. For instance, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mapping mission has a circular orbit of around 300 kilometers (about 18 miles) and the ESA’s Mars Express includes an orbit that measures 300 by 10,000 km (about 6214 miles by 186 km).

Mangalyaan’s massive and extremely geologically elliptical Mars orbit is dependent on its decision to launch using a PSLV rocket. In order for the PSLV to put Mangalyaan into an ideal Earth orbit, it was necessary for the spacecraft to be heavier than it already was, and it wasn’t able to carry additional fuel. In addition, Mangalyaan needed to come from Earth orbit on its own and thus, needed to utilize its own fuel source, which made it difficult to complete its Mars orbit. This affected the spacecraft’s science imaging capabilities and is the reason why Mangalyaan’s research output has been so low. However, Mangalyaan’s orbit provides a fantastic vantage point for capturing the full-circle view of Mars.

What technologies did ISRO develop for Mangalyaan?

ISRO has based its efforts on its experiences using Chandrayaan 1, India’s first lunar orbiter, to design Mangalyaan. Mangalyaan is a Mars craft that is an improved model of the Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft with upgraded components in line with the needs. For instance, there are more modernized solar panels to compensate for the lower solar energy on Mars.

ISRO also created the capability for their ground stations to be able to communicate with spacecraft on another planet. With Mangalyaan it was possible to have two-way communications that could take as long as 42 minutes. this made it necessary to allow the spacecraft to take autonomous decisions in cases that didn’t have humans present which wasn’t required for Chandrayaan 1.

National response

The achievement that ISRO succeeded in placing an orbiting spacecraft into Mars orbit on their first attempt earned them the attention of people across the globe. In India, the mission was able to have more profound effects, helped by the first efforts of ISRO to make themselves visible on social media platforms to inform the public about their mission.

The mission produced a variety of television and film adaptations in India one of the most popular among them was the dramatic film Mission Mangal. The government of India decided to include a picture from Mangalyaan to be featured on the reverse of India’s largest denomination currency note worth the amount of Rs.2,000 (roughly $7.). The writer Minnie Vaid wrote a book entitled “Those Magnificent Women and their Flying Machines,” which examines the lives of some of the most important women who played a leading role in the missions.

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