Mangalyaan: Built for 6 Month Mission, Lasts 8 Years – Interesting Facts About India’s Mars Orbiter

New Delhi: India’s Mars orbiter Mangalyaan has reportedly been ‘retired’ after 8 long years of work in the interplanetary mission when it ran out of fuel and drained its battery above the safe limit. Mangalyaan was a huge milestone for the Indian Space Research Organization, helping to study Martian landscapes, including surface geology, morphology, atmospheric processes, surface temperature, and atmospheric escape process.

Mangalyaan used 5 instruments for this task: Mars Color Camera (MCC), Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS), Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM), Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyzer (MENCA) and Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP).

Also Read: With Battery Dead and No Fuel, India’s ‘Mangalyaan’ Mission Comes to an End

It was launched in November 2013 and successfully entered Mars orbit in September 2014. It was designed to function for only 6 months, but worked for 8 years before it ‘retired’. Before the Mangalyaan in India, only the US, the Soviet Union and the European space agency had explored Mars.

The Mars Color Camera has produced over 1000 images and published a Mars Atlas.

“Right now, there’s no fuel left. The satellite’s battery is dead,” sources in the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) told PTI. “The link has been lost”. However, there was no official release from the country’s national space agency, which is headquartered here. With fuel on board, ISRO performed orbital maneuvers on MOM spacecraft to launch it into new orbit to avoid an impending solar eclipse in the past.

In the meantime, however, plans for a follow-up mission ‘Mangalyaan’ to the red planet have yet to be confirmed.

ISRO released an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for future Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM-2) in 2016, but officials acknowledged it is still on the drawing board, with the upcoming ‘Gaganyaan’, ‘Chandrayaan-3’ and ‘Aditya – L1’ projects are on the space agency’s current priority list.

(With input from the agency)

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