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Mangalyaan’s fuel runs out; India’s maiden Mars mission quietly bids farewell

India’s first expedition to Mars, Mangalyaan, has returned home more than ten years after it was launched. It is apparently impossible to restart the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) in the Red Planet’s orbit since it has reportedly ran out of propellant. The expedition may have finally come to an end, according to this development. The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), which controls the spacecraft orbiting Mars, has not yet made a statement regarding whether or not the probe can be revived.

There is no fuel left in Mangalyaan, according to sources cited by news agency PTI. There is no longer any petrol available. The battery in the satellite is dead.┬áThe link has been broken’, sources with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told PTI.

‘There were back-to-back eclipses recently, one of which lasted seven and a half hours. A prolonged eclipse will drain the satellite battery past the safe level because it is only intended to withstand an eclipse lasting roughly one hour and 40 minutes ‘,using anonymous sources, PTI stated. When it was originally planned for a six-month trip around Mars, the mission already surpassed expectations by operating for more than eight years.

As the first interplanetary mission from India, Mangalyaan was launched in 2013 onboard PSLV-C25, making Isro the fourth space agency in the world to do so. The spacecraft served as a proof-of-concept mission to show that India was capable of designing, launching, and managing a mission to another planet. One of the most economical extraterrestrial missions ever created cost only Rs 450 crore: India’s Mars mission.

The spacecraft was furnished with five instruments to investigate the morphology, mineralogy, and atmosphere of Mars. The five instruments were the Mars Color Camera (MCC), Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS), Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM), Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyzer (MENCA), and Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP). According to ISRO officials, ‘MOM is attributed with numerous laurels, including cost-effectiveness, a short time of realisation, affordable mass-budget, and miniaturisation of five heterogeneous science payloads’.

In the upcoming years, India has been planning to launch a second mission to Mars, which is most likely going to be an orbiter. During his term as Isro’s former director general in 2021, K Sivan stated that Mangalyaan-2 will only be launched after Chandrayaan-3, India’s forthcoming Moon mission. He continued by saying that the space agency had requested ideas for potential experiments from the scientific community and was already receiving them. The second Mars mission is still in the planning stages.


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