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Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)- Mangalyaan Spacecraft

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India’s spacecraft with a budget of $74 million (Rs 450 crore) reached the Mars orbit on 24 th September 2014 making ISRO’s interplanetary mission, the World’s cheapest mission to Mars. It has achieved many marvels with this feat. The marvels are listed below

  1. Cheapest mars mission in the world.
  2. First country to achieve this feat in its maiden mission(Both Russia and the US failed in their maiden attempts. The first Chinese mission to Mars, called Yinghuo-1, failed in 2011 alongside the Russian Phobos-Grunt mission with which it was launched. Earlier in 1998, the Japanese mission (Nozomi) to Mars ran out of fuel and was lost).
  3. Fourth in row to USA(NASA) , Russian(RFSA) and Europe(ESA) to achieve mars mission.
  4. Out of 51 missions, only US, Russia and Europe have succeeded (21 only succeeded)
  5. The Mars mission cost less than the “Gravity” space movie budget of $100 million.
  6. First Asian country to achieve the Mars mission.
  7. India spends $1.2 billion a year on its space program; while NASA spends $17.5 billion a year (Latest NASA’s Mars mission Maven was priced at whooping $671 million).

Image Source: ISRO

Details about the mission

Mangalyaan means Mars Craft.

Launched into Earth’s orbit – 5 th November 2013

Reached into Mars orbit – 24 th September 2014

Purpose – To study Martian morphology, mineral composition, scan for methane gas and reason for disappearance of water in the Red planet.

Payload- 15 kg of 5 scientific instruments (Lyman-Alpha Photometer, Methane sensor, Mars Exospheric Neutral composition analyzer, Thermal Infrared imaging spectrometer and Mars color camera).

Launch VehiclePSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket C-25 but less powerful than GSLV (Cryogenic Engine)

SpacecraftLift-off mass of 1350 Kg including 852 Kg of propellant.

PropulsionLiquid fuel engine of 440 N thrust.

Power – Supported through 3 solar panels.

Launch – First Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh

Key people part of the mission

M Annadurai – Head of the Indian Mars mission.

Radhakrishnan– Chairman, ISRO

Dr.Manmohan Singh – Prime Minister at the launch of the mission.

Mr.Narendra Modi – Prime Minister at the accomplishment of the mission reaching mars orbit.

Facts about Indian Space program

India launched its first space rocket in 1963 and its first satellite in 1975. An unmanned mission (Chandrayaan 1) to the moon that ended in 2009 showed water formation there may be occurring.