June 19,2017 . Mars Orbiter Mission or affectionately known as MOM, India’s first interplanetary Mission has completed 1000 Earth days or 973.24 Martian Solar days in Martian orbit. So far it has completed 388 orbits.
Initially mission life was expected to be only 180 days but as of today it has finished 1000 days in the orbit and scientists are expecting that the spacecraft will be operational and orbit Mars for another 5 years as it is in a very good condition and it has got about 13 kg of fuel left.
Spacecraft was launched in 5th November , 2013 via indigenously built tried and tested work horse PSLV-C25 an expandable launch system , escaped earths gravitational field on 1st December, 2013 and after Nine month long space odyssey reached its destination and entered Martian orbit September 24, 2014 on its first attempt. And with this India became the first country to reach Mars in its first attempt.
Mission was launched to study Martian surface, mineral composition and atmosphere specially methane gas which is the indicator for life.
It went through a communication blackout due to solar conjunction from June 2, 2015 to July 2, 2015. it has also experienced another phenomena call whiteout Geometry between 18th May and 30th May, 2016, It occurs when the Earth is between the Sun and Mars and too much solar radiation may make it impossible to communicate with the Earth. Normally whiteout duration is about 14 days and this is one of the critical moment of any space mission but MOM spacecraft has an in built auto-pilot mode which enables it to take care of navigation and other necessary decision without ground intervention. on 30th May it successfully came out of Whiteout Geometry
There are five scientific instruments on board :
1. Methane Sensor For Mars.
2. Mars Color Camera.
3. Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser.
4. Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer.
5. Lyman Alpha Photometer.
So far Mars Color Camera has taken more than 715 High resolution images. A Mars Atlas was prepared.
MOM is credited with many laurels like cost-effectiveness, short period of realization, economical mass-budget, miniaturization of five heterogeneous science payloads etc.
Last November Govt’s India revealed that ISRO’s is planning for the next Mars mission, MOM-2.
Mars atlas can be found ISRO’s website.