Mangalyaan completes 1,000 days in orbit around Mars

20 Jun 2017


India's low-cost Mars mission spacecraft completed 1,000 earth days in its orbit around the Red Planet yesterday.

"MOM completes 1,000 earth days in its orbit, on Monday June 19, 2017 well beyond its designed mission life of six months. 1,000 earth days corresponds to 973.24 Mars Sols (Martian Solar day) and MOM completed 388 orbits," ISRO said.

The satellite was in good health and continued to work as expected, it said, adding that scientific analysis of the data received from the Mars Orbiter spacecraft was in progress.

On 24 September, 2014 India successfully placed the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft in orbit around Mars in its very first attempt, making it to an elite club of nations.

The indigenously developed PSLV rocket carrying the space craft blasted off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on 5 November, 2013 and the space craft escaped the earth's gravitational field on 1 December, 2013.

Citing surplus fuel as the reason, ISRO in March, 2015 first announced that the spacecraft's life was extended for another six months and in June, 2015 ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar had said it had enough fuel for it to last "many years".

The Rs 450-crore MOM mission was tasked with studying the Martian surface and mineral composition and scanning its atmosphere for methane, an indicator of life on Mars.

''If there is no trouble forthcoming, the spacecraft can hold good for at least another 5-6 years,'' ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar told The Indian Express.

The mission was originally planned to last 6 months - or just 180 days. The spacecraft still had 15kg of fuel on board

Thanks to an orbital manoeuvre performed on 17 January the on-board battery of the space craft escaped unscathed from an 8-hour eclipse against an hours long life expected under the circumstances.

''This manoeuvre consumed about 20kg of propellant. If no further trouble or corrections are required, the spacecraft will hold in good shape for at least next five years,'' Kumar explained, The New Indian Express reported.

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