India’s Mars orbiter has spent eight years in orbit, well beyond its expected six-month lifespan. However, plans for a follow-on “Mangalyaan” mission to the Red Planet have yet to be confirmed.
The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) – a technology demonstration undertaking – is the first interplanetary mission of the national space agency, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
Launched on November 5, 2013, the probe was successfully inserted into Mars orbit on September 24, 2014 on its first attempt.
To mark the latest milestone, ISRO on Tuesday hosted a ‘National Gathering on Eight Years of India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)’ at its headquarters here with an inaugural address by its President S Somanath.
Space Commission members K Radhakrishnan and AS Kiran Kumar would deliver special remarks at the gathering, which would focus on the topics “Mars Orbiter Mission Overview”, “Science Achievements” and “Future Directions in System Exploration”. indoor solar.
As ISRO President at the time, Radhakrishnan had led the MOM (Mangalyaan) mission team.
ISRO issued an “Opportunity Announcement” (AO) for the future Mars Orbiter (MOM-2) mission in 2016, but officials acknowledged it was still on the drawing board, with the next “Gaganyaan “, “Chandrayaan-3” and “Aditya – L1 projects” being in the list of current priorities of the space agency.
The AO had said: “It is now planned to have the next Mars orbiter mission for a future launch opportunity. Proposals are being sought from interested Indian scientists for experiments aboard a Mars orbiter mission. (MOM-2), to address relevant scientific issues and topics”.
“Not in the approved list at this time,” a senior ISRO official told PTI on Monday after being asked about an update on MOM-2.
“We need to formulate project proposals and payloads based on broader consultation with the research community,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “It’s still on the drawing board. But more details and international collaboration are needed to finalize the mission.”
“It’s quite a satisfying and fulfilling time,” MOM program manager Ms. Annadurai told PTI today of the Mars orbiter which has completed its eight years in orbit.