MOM Science Meet

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), the maiden interplanetary mission of ISRO, launched on November 5, 2013, was successfully inserted into Martian orbit on September 24, 2014 in its first attempt.  MOM completed three years as on September 24, 2017, though the designed mission life of MOM was six months. The Satellite is in good health and continues to work as expected. Scientific analysis of the data, which is being received from the Mars Orbiter spacecraft, is in progress.

On the occasion of three years completion of MOM in Martian orbit on September 24, 2017, Space Science Programme Office, ISRO Hqs conducted a ‘MOM Science Meet’ on September 25, 2017.

The following distinguished scientists graced the occasion:

  1. Dr.K.Radhakrishnan, Honorary Adviser, ISRO and former Chairman of ISRO and Secretary DOS was guest of honour for this occassion
  2. Dr.M.Annadurai, Director, ISAC inaugurated the Meet and
  3. Dr. P.G. Diwakar, Scientific Secretary, ISRO initiated with introductory remarks

Prof. U.R.Rao was specially remembered with gratitude for his precious contribution to Indian Space Programme in general and to the MOM in particular.

Dr. P.G. Diwakar, Scientific Secretary in his introductory remarks told that MOM has changed the face of ISRO and brought a lot of reputation within and outside the country. Thirty two proposals were selected under MOM Announcement of opportunity (MOM-AO) and funding support was extended to twenty eight proposals. He said that,  MOM first year data was released on September 24, 2016 and about 7 lakhs hits of which about 1500 users have already registered and downloaded about 400 GB data. He also mentioned that more scientific outcome is expected from MOM.

Dr. M. Annadurai, Director of ISRO Satellite Centre inaugurated the Science Meet. During inaugural address, he mentioned that MOM was accomplished in a record time. MOM has enthused the young generation and they will remember it as an epic mission. He also stressed the need to have a future Mars mission focussing more on science.

Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, Honorary Advisor to ISRO and former Chairman of ISRO, released the second year data of MOM (Sept 24, 2015 to  Sept 23, 2016) to public through ISSDC website.

Dr.K.Radhakrishnan during his address mentioned that there is an overwhelming response from the Indian planetary science community to the MOM-AO and it resulted in the formation of 32 research teams within the country. He also appreciated the efforts of MOM mission operation team, spacecraft teams and team of scientific instruments. He also highlighted that MOM kindled everyone in the country and we need more focus to publicise the science outputs from the mission to public.

He also mentioned that ISRO’s planetary missions are on the Global Exploration Roadmap. It is now time for the teams to brainstorm and come up with ideas which can be realised in 10-15 years and which will remain important for 10 years after that. These could cover areas like habitation of Moon, Mars, sample collection, reusable re-entry vehicles for cargo and resource utilisation of other planetary bodies.

Dr. Radhakrishnan also stressed the need to prepare a roadmap for the future planetary exploration and also for space exploitation.

Further sessions included science presentation from five payload teams and twenty  nine MOM-AO project teams. About 100 participants attended in the Science Meet.

On the occasion of three year completion of MOM, second year data (Sep 24, 2015 to Sep 23, 2016) consisting of 492 data products was made available to the public through ISRO-ISSDC website  https://mrbrowse.issdc.gov.in/MOMLTA