MARS ORBITER MISSION
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Marking India's first venture into the interplanetary space, MOM will explore and
observe Mars surface features,
morphology, mineralogy and the Martian atmosphere. Further, a specific search for
methane in the Martian atmosphere
will provide information about the possibility or the past existence of life on the
The enormous distances involved in interplanetary missions present a
demanding challenge; developing and mastering the
technologies essential for these missions will open endless possibilities for space
exploration. After leaving Earth,
the Orbiter will have to endure the Interplanetary space for 300 days before Mars
capture. Apart from deep space communications and
navigation-guidance-control capabilities, the mission will require autonomy at the
spacecraft end to handle contingencies.
Once India decided to go to Mars, ISRO had no time to lose as the nearest launch window
was only a few months away and it could not
afford to lose the chance, given the next launch would present itself after over 780
days, in 2016. Thus, mission planning, manufacturing
the spacecraft and the launch vehicle and readying the support systems took place
Connect with Mars Orbiter
MOM was launched aboard PSLV C-25, which was an XL
variant of the PSLV,
one of world's most reliable launch vehicles. The XL variant was earlier
used to launch Chandrayaan (2008),
GSAT-12 (2011) and RISAT-1 (2012).
Based on the I-1-K satellite bus of ISRO that has proved
its reliability over the years in Chandrayaan-1 and the
IRS and INSAT series of satellites, the MOM spacecraft carries 850 kg of
fuel and 5 science payloads.
The Orbiter is being tracked by the Indian Deep Space
Network (IDSN), located outside Bangalore. IDSN's 32 m and 18 m
diameter antennas are being complemented by NASA - JPL's Deep Space Network.
The Mars Mission was envisaged as a rendezvous problem,
wherein the Mars orbiter is manoeuvred into a departure hyperbolic
escapes the SOI of Earth and thereafter enters the SOI of Mars.