Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) - A Complete Overview of Mangalyaan Mission

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) also known as Mangalyaan Mission is the cynosure of many of the technological breakthroughs achieved by ISRO in the Space domain. This article comprehensively covers information on the objectives of the mission, launch vehicle, scientific payloads, achievements, awards, and tracking locations.

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

Mars Orbiter Mission – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

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Mars Orbiter Mission – Objective of the Mangalyaan Mission  

The 4 Primary Objectives of the Mars Orbiter Mission are listed below.

  1. Study of Martian atmosphere 
  2. Study of Martian Surface Features 
  3. Morphology 
  4. Mineralogy.

Also, read about the following mission of ISRO

  1. Gaganyaan Mission
  2. Aditya L1 Mission – 1st mission to study the Sun
  3. Chandrayaan Mission

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) – Launch Vehicle & LaunchPad

  1. Mars Orbiter Mission was launched with the help of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-25. 
  2. PSLV C-25 is an XL version of the PSLV launch vehicle.
  3. This mission was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, located in Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh.
  4. This mission was launched by ISRO on November 5, 2013. 

Check out the following links for detailed information on relevant topics-

  1. Satellite Launch Vehicle Program
  2. Reusable Launch Vehicle
  3. Launch Vehicle

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) / Mangalyaan – 1 Mission :- Scientific Payloads

The MOM mission is primarily a technological mission to study various aspects of Mars. Hence the Mangalyaan mission carried 5 different scientific payloads which are listed below

  1. Mars Color Camera (MCC)
  2. Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM)
  3. Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP)
  4. Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS)
  5. Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA)

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) – Tracking of Mangalyaan Mission

Mangalyaan Mission is tracked by devices located in different countries which are listed below.

  1. ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), Bengaluru.
  2. DSN Network of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
  3. Biak, Indonesia
  4. Brunei
  5. Mauritius, an island nation located in the Indian Ocean
  6. Hartebeestoek Station of South African National Space Agency (SANSA)
  7. National Institute of Space Research (INSTE), Brazil – Alcantara and Cuiaba TTE stations

MARS Mission – Challenges Faced

  1. Propelling the spacecraft with sufficient velocity to escape Earth’s gravitational grasp, guiding it along the proper trajectory over vast distances, and then slowing it down sufficiently to go into orbit around the planet MARS.
  2. The spacecraft had to be capable of operating autonomously as communication signals to and from ground stations could take minutes to reach it.
  3. Since 1960, there have been 51 global missions to Mars and the overall success rate stands at 42% which shows that it was quite a difficult mission.

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) – Achievements 

  1. India is the 1st country in the world to achieve Mars Orbit Insertion in the very 1st attempt. The cost of this mission was $ 74 million, it cost less than a famous Hollywood movie named Gravity.
  2. MOM is the cheapest Interplanetary Space Mission in the World.
  3. It is the 1st Interplanetary Space Mission of India.
  4. It is the 1st Indian spacecraft to survive the Van Allen Belt, by crossing it 39 times.

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) – Awards

MOM mission won some of the famous awards which are listed below.

  1. Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament, and Development – For its contribution to strengthening the international cooperation for the peaceful use of outer space.
  2. Space Pioneer Award in 2015, awarded by National Space Society (US Based).

Space Agencies that Achieved Successful Missions to Mars

Before ISRO only 3 other different Space agencies were able to successfully carry out space missions to Mars, but the most important point to note is that none of them achieved success in the 1st attempt to visit Mars. ISRO is the only agency to have achieved success in the very 1st attempt to visit Mars. The list of different space agencies are listed below

  1. ROSCOSMOS  – Russian Space Agency
  2. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
  3. European Space Agency (ESA)

What is the need to explore Mars? Why is it important for India and the World?

  1. exploring Mars will help to address fundamental questions about the history of our solar system and our place in the Universe, which means Mars goes through seasons, just like Earth.
  2. The explorations will help decipher why and how Mars lost its liquid water. This is an important question
    essential for the long-term survival of human beings on Earth.
  3. Its exploration may give us clues to the presence of microbial life on Mars.
  4. Mars has a 24-hour day. The rotational period and seasonal cycles of Mars are likewise similar to those
    of Earth, as is the tilt that produces the seasons.
  5. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the
    impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth.
  6. Also, from a runaway greenhouse effect, Venus is 900 degrees Fahrenheit and would melt or vaporize
    most things you sent to its surface. Mercury is also very hot, being close to the Sun. So when you look at
    the nearby terrestrial planets, Mars is looking just right, in spite of the challenges.

Consider the Following Statements:

  1. Mars Orbiter Mission is also called the Mangalyaan.
  2. India is the first Asian nation to reach Mars orbit.

Which of the following statements are correct:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

Answer: c

Mars Orbiter Mission – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions on Mars Orbiter Mission


Q 1. Which is the first country to have reached Mars in their maiden attempt?

Ans. India is the first Asian country to reach the Martian orbit and the first country in the world to reach Mars in its very first attempt. The Indian satellite through the Mars Orbiter Mission entered the Mars orbit on September 24, 2014.

Q 2. Which other space agencies have reached Mars before India?

Ans. Only three International space agencies had reached Mars before India. These include:

  • ROSCOSMOS – Russian Space Agency
  • NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
  • European Space Agency (ESA)

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