The Indian space agency ISRO said that its low-cost Mars mission had completed 1000 earth days in its orbit. The lifetime of this mission was extended by 6 months against its designed life.
On Monday, June 19, Martian orbit mission (MOM) completes 1000 days in its orbit which corresponds to 973.24 Martian Solar day. The agency said that MOM had completed 388 orbits during this time period.
The ISRO said that the satellite was in perfect condition and was working as expected. The agency is recording the scientific data received from the Mars spacecraft for further analysis.
In its first attempt, the ISRO placed MOM in orbit around Mars on September 24, 2014.
The agency had launched this mission via its indigenous PLSV rocket from Sriharikota on November 5, 2013. This satellite had escaped our planet’s gravitational field on 1st December 2013.
In March 2015, the agency had announced the extension of this mission by 6 month due to surplus fuel. Later in June 2015, the chairman A S Kiran KUMAR announced that it has surplus fuel to survive in space for five more years.
ISRO has launched this 450 crore mission to hunt the Martian surface and formation of minerals. It was also designed to scan the atmosphere of methane which gives some signs of life on the red planet.
The designers of MOM have placed five scientific instruments in order to collect the data. These instruments are; Lyman Alpha Photometer, the methane sensor, Mars color camera and thermal imaging spectrometer.
The Mars color camera has produced more than 715 pictures so for.
During its journey, the MOM has faced blackout due to solar conjunction from 2nd June 2015 to 2nd July 2015. It had also faced whiteout geometry when the earth was between the Sun and Mars. Due to this, it was unable to communicate with Earth from 18th May to 30th May 2016.
ISRO has launched programs in the country for scientists to use MOM data for research and development.
Further, in order to expand its interplanetary research, ISRO is seeking scientific proposals for Mars Orbiter Mission-2.