On the one-year anniversary of ISRO’s Mars Orbiter or Mangalyaan making to the orbit of Mars, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had many good news to share. Diving right into the matter ISRO Chairman AS Kirankumar addressed the media and said:
“Mars (mission) is expected to last for many years now, because it has gone through solar conjunction also; so we don’t see much of a problem, We had planned it only for six months. Then we were not expecting so much fuel to remain after we completed our insertion activity.”
The ISRO chief said that the Mars Orbiter still has about 35kg of fuel left in its tank. Mangalyaan has not given much trouble or had a breakdown, which is why the mission is expected to last for many years.
“There is still a lot of fuel… all other subsystems are working fine and so far we have not had any failures.”
Kirankumar then added that ISRO will mark MOM’s first anniversary by releasing an atlas. The atlas would contain photos the colour camera on board the Mars’s spacecraft has been taking over the year. He said:
“Currently, on September 24, we will be releasing one of the atlases – the on taking images of Mars Colour Camera and also some results from the Methane Sensor…. then, on November 5, we are bringing out a book, ‘Fishing hamlet to Mars’.”
On November 5, 2013 ISRO had launched the Mars Orbiter which had made contact with the Red Planet on September 24, 2014.
Mangalyaan was initially supposed to be on a 6-month mission, but the orbiter far surpassed ISRO’s expectations and has given India’s space program some very valuable information over its journey.
India is only the third country to have had successfully placed its own spacecraft in orbit around the Red Planet. What is more, India is the only country to make it to Mars’s orbit on the very first attempt.
Mangalyaan had also sent back many stunning 3D photographs from the Red Planet a few weeks ago.
Looking at India’s impressive success in the mission, ISRO has been hailed into global standing in space technology. Talking about ISRO’s next inter-planetary expedition, Kirankumar said:
“Currently, next inter-planetary mission discussions are going on; studies are in progress. We have to go through the discussions, and then the cost.”
Kirankumar then went on to talk about ISRO’s next mission Astrosat, which is a satellite for the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission and is aimed at studying celestial objects. He said,
“What it means for India is this: it is one of the first scientific missions which will be available to the Indian researcher community as an observation opportunity.”
Astrosat is scheduled to be launched on September 28 and will be accompanied by six co-passengers that is one satellite each from Indonesia and Canada, and four nano satellites from the US.