What is Mangalyaan? ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)

Mangalyaan is the name for the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), an interplanetary mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Launched on November 5, 2013, the Mars Orbiter Mission is India’s first interplanetary mission designed to explore and study Mars.

Here are some key facts and highlights about the Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter Mission):

  1. Mission Objectives: The primary objective of the Mars Orbiter Mission was to develop the technology required for interplanetary exploration and to study the Martian surface, morphology, atmosphere, and mineralogy from orbit.
  2. Affordable Mission: MOM gained worldwide attention not only for its scientific goals but also for its cost-effectiveness. It was known for being one of the most budget-friendly Mars missions ever conducted, making it a remarkable achievement for ISRO.
  3. Orbital Insertion: On September 24, 2014, MOM successfully entered Mars’ orbit. This made India the fourth space agency globally to reach Mars, following NASA, the Soviet space program, and the European Space Agency.
  4. Scientific Payload: The Mars Orbiter Mission carried a suite of scientific instruments to conduct various experiments and observations. These instruments included a colour camera, a thermal infrared spectrometer, a methane sensor, and a Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyzer (MENCA).
  5. International Collaboration: While ISRO led the mission, it involved collaboration with several international space agencies and organizations. For example, NASA’s Deep Space Network provided communication support during the mission.
  6. Communication: The spacecraft communicates with Earth through a large dish antenna, and it sends back valuable data and images of Mars.
  7. Duration: The original mission was planned to last for about six months, but it has exceeded expectations and continued to function for much longer.
  8. Scientific Discoveries: The mission has made several scientific discoveries, including findings related to the Martian atmosphere, its methane content, and the planet’s surface.

Mangalyaan, or the Mars Orbiter Mission, represents a significant milestone in India’s space exploration efforts and has contributed valuable data to the global scientific community’s understanding of Mars. It showcases ISRO’s capabilities in designing and executing complex space missions cost-effectively.