The Mars Orbiter, or Mangalyaan is one of the most important projects undertaken by ISRO and was kick-started in September 2014 with the primary objective being to study Mars from several angles and relay information and photographs obtained back to ISRO. The project, which was originally scheduled for six months is still ongoing and sending information for two years now.
ISRO has recently been in the news for realigning the satellite’s orbit to prevent communication break in case of a long-duration eclipse. The plans for realigning was announced last year in August to prevent the satellite’s battery capacity from getting exhausted. A S Kumar, Chairman, ISRO notes, “The duration of eclipse was reduced owing to the satellite’s change of orbit on evening of January 17.”
The spacecraft has displayed splendid performance and efficiency so far. The satellite has only burnt 7 kg of fuel in the previous year, and is still left with 30 kg of fuel. Moreover, the mission for the Mars Orbiter was undertaken within a budget of $73 million, which is a significantly cost-considerate, compared to earlier projects of similar gravity.
The satellite is identified as one of the thinnest and lightweight, weighing at only 1,350 kg. It sports a high-resolution camera which clicks full-disk color images of mars. The Mangalyaan project has furnished ISRO with some insightful pictures of Mars. The project has not only helped India, but also enabled NASA to complete several research programs based on the useful information collected.
Besides the realignment, ISRO divulged information regarding works on second lunar mission – Chandrayaan II. The project is scheduled for 2018, and scientists are currently testing soft landing engines for the same.
Key achievements of the Mars Orbiter:
- Proof about watery exercises among the old Martian atmosphere
- Understanding about Mars’ ice spread changes amid summer on the Northern Hemisphere
- Evaluation of the layers of dust on Martian valleys and slopes that can reach up to 1.5 kilometers
- Scrutiny of two Martian satellites like Phobos and Deimos.
Focus Keyword: ISRO Mangalyaan realignment
Tags: ISRO India, Mars satellite India, Mangalyaan India, Mangalyaan realigning India