India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has reached the end of its operations after spending eight years orbiting the Red Planet, and is non-recoverable, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) confirmed on Monday, October 3. The spacecraft lost communication with ground stations, the possible reasons being the propellant becoming exhausted or the battery having run out of power. ISRO said in a statement Monday that the Mars orbiter, also called Mangalyaan, has attained its ‘end-of-life’.
Mangalyaan is India’s maiden Mars mission, and marked the country’s first venture into interplanetary space.
On September 27, the Indian space agency conducted a national meet to commemorate Mangalyaan’s completion of eight years in the Martian orbit. Mangalyaan was designed to last for six months, but orbited the Red Planet for eight years.
Why did Mangalyaan lose communication?
ISRO said the orbiter lost communication with ground stations as a result of a long eclipse in April this year.
According to the statement, ISRO said during the meet that the propellant must be exhausted, as a result of which the “desired altitude pointing” could not be achieved for sustained power generation.
“It was declared that 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,” the space agency said in the statement.
India’s Mars Orbiter Mission
Launched atop a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-25 rocket on November 5, 2013, Mangalyaan was inserted into Martian orbit on September 24, 2014, after completing 300 days of interplanetary journey.
“Equipped with a suit of five scientific payloads onboard, during these eight years, the mission has gifted significant scientific understanding on the Martian surface features, morphology, as well as the Martian atmosphere and exosphere,” ISRO said.
In August, 2022, India released a science documentary in Sanskrit, a first in the history of world cinema. The science film, titled ‘Yaanam’, is a 44-minute-long documentary which recounts the story of India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), or Mangalyaan. The word Yaanam means ‘chariot’ in Sanskrit.
The Mangalyaan mission made India the first Asian nation to reach Martian orbit, and the first country in the world to do so on its maiden attempt. Mangalyaan carried out observations of the physical features of the Red Planet.