The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) maiden interplanetary mission, Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), completed 1000 earth days in its orbit on Monday, well beyond its designed mission life of six months. MOM was launched on November 5, 2013 by PSLV-25 and it entered the Martian orbit on September 24,2014. The feat was lauded globally not just for the mission's success in its first go but also because it came at a fraction of the cost of similar space missions launched by bodies such as NASA and the European Space Agency.
During its journey so far, MOM has gone through a communication "blackout" as a result of solar conjunction from June 2, 2015 to July 2, 2015.
MOM was commanded with autonomy features starting from 18 May 2015 that enabled it to survive the communication "blackout" period without any ground commands or intervention.
The spacecraft experienced "whiteout" geometry from May 18, 2016, to May 30, 2016.
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A "whiteout" occurs when the Earth is between the Sun and Mars and too much solar radiation may make it impossible to communicate with the Earth.
Besides this, ISRO had also launched MOM Announcement of Opportunity (AO) programmes for researchers in the country to enable them to use the data retrieved from the orbiter for research and development objective. The scientific analysis of the data received from the Mars Orbiter spacecraft is in progress.
Thirty-two proposals were supported under this AO.
First year data from MOM was released to public on September 24,2016 through ISSDC website. To expand inter-planetary research, ISRO is seeking scientific proposals for Mars Orbiter Mission-2, the government said in November previous year.
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