Despite being intended to last only six months, India’s first interplanetary probe, which cost India $74 million, lasted an impressive eight years, prompting Prime Minister Modi to famously remark that the mission was less expensive than the $100 million production budget of the Hollywood film Gravity.
End of Mars Orbiter Mission
Dr. S. Somanath, the head of India’s space agency Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), put an end to all speculation about the fate of the country’s first interplanetary mission, the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) or Mangalyaan, by stating that the unmanned spacecraft had reached the end of its lifecycle.
He claimed that Mars Orbiter Mission is not the subject of rumors. It has practically run out of fuel and is no longer under our control, according to a statement we released. The battery is dead. Its electronics may still be in good shape, and it is still in [Mars’] orbit, but it cannot be operated any longer, he continued. As a result, they determined it to be non-functional.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket, the workhorse of ISRO, launched the spacecraft on November 5, 2013, and it entered Martian orbit on September 24, 2014, following a 298-day voyage. Since the 1,350-kilogram probe could not be launched directly by the medium-lift PSLV, ISRO scientists installed power engines aboard the spacecraft to gradually raise its orbit over the course of four weeks until it was able to escape Earth’s gravity.
After entering a seven-hour eclipse period in April, the probe was said to have lost touch with Earth, according to claims that surfaced on October 2. The next day, ISRO released a statement that read: “The spacecraft is non-recoverable, and attained its end-of-life. The mission will be ever-regarded as a remarkable technological and scientific feat in the history of planetary exploration.”
But there was a lot of speculation as to whether the probe had run out of power or had repositioned its Earth-facing antenna while performing autonomous maneuvers. The unambiguous instructions from the ISRO chief should therefore help put all rumors to rest. Dr. Somnath added that the notification was given by India’s international obligations under the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.
Objects and Other Satellites in Space
Dr. Somanath stated that there is a chance of collision because there are objects in space and other satellites which are orbiting Mars. Therefore, they have advised all worldwide users that even while the satellite is orbiting Mars, they are unable to manage it.
The MOM mission, which cost India $74 million, was only intended to run for six months, but it lasted for a very long eight. Due to this, prime minister Narendra Modi made the infamous comment that the expedition cost less than the $100 million budget for the making of the Hollywood film Gravity.
A color camera, a thermal infrared sensor, an ultraviolet spectrometer to examine deuterium and hydrogen in the upper atmosphere of the red planet, a mass spectrometer to analyze neutral particles in its exosphere, and a methane sensor were among the equipment on board the mission.
The probe transmitted some of the most beautiful pictures ever taken of the Martian surface as well as other important data that was shared with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the US space agency, by a contract.