India’s Mars Orbiter still strong after completing 1000 days in orbit
- India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) completed 1000 earth days in its orbit which is beyond its designed mission life of 6 months.
- The MOM has now completed 388 orbits of Mars and relayed back a storm of data including over 715 images.
- According to the scientists, the MOM is in good condition and shows no signs of slowing down.
India is now planning to send Mangalyaan 2.0 and a new mission to Venus after 2020.
Highlight of MOM
- The MOM was launched on November 5, 2013 and entered the orbit of the fiery red planet on September 24, 2014, in its first attempt.
- The MOM is credited with many laurels like cost-effectiveness, short period of realisation, economical mass-budget.
- There is also a methane sensor, an experiment that helps to gauge the solar forcing on the Mars atmosphere, one that measures emitted thermal Infrared radiation and another one that helps to calculate the Deuterium to Hydrogen ratio (D/H ratio) in the planet’s atmosphere.
- The MOM went through a communication ‘blackout‘ as a result of solar conjunction from June 2, 2015, to July 2, 2015. Telemetry data was received during most of the conjunction period except for 9 days from June 10 to June 18, during superior conjunction.
- The spacecraft experienced ‘whiteout’ geometry from May 18, 2016, to May 30, 2016.
Whiteout: It is a period when the Earth is between Mars and Sun, which makes all the communication impossible between the Earth and Mars due to high solar radiation.