India seeks to expand its space exploration programs focused on the red planet after its Mars Orbiter Mission completes the first phase. ISRO is now seeking for proposals for a Mars Orbiter Mission-2.
The Union Minister of State under the Prime Minister Office, however, said there is no specific scientific experiment in mind and is yet to be finalized. But the second Mars Orbiter Mission 2 will drastically widen the coverage of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in terms of space programs.
This was revealed after the first orbiter , MOM-1 managed to successfully complete 25 months of orbit with flying colors. Today, MOM-1 is still functional and a relevant part of ISRO’s space research instruments.
MOM also known as the Mangalyaan is the first of India’s spacecraft dedicated to Mars. MOM was launched from Sriharikota aboard a C25 rocket last Sept. 24, 2014. Mangalyaan is a proof that ISRO is capable of innovative space technology that can go side-by-side along big nations and their agencies such as NASA and ESA who both have their own Mars Orbiters. Mangalyaan is also a prototype for future Indian space systems. But it has been successful, thus the need for an updated mission.
“The span of two years on Earth nearly equals to one year on Mars. The Mangalyaan, which entered the orbit of Mars around two years ago, has completed one revolution. The data being sent by it over a period of last two years is being studied by ISRO for analyzing atmospheric configuration,” Ritu Karidhal, deputy operation director of MOM ISRO Satellite Center said in a statement.
And now that ISRO has proven the might of MOM, the government is seeking for proposals on what could be the next orbiters project will be. But there are no details yet as to what the focus of the proposals is, but the government already hinted that a second Mars orbiter mission is on its way.
The maiden Mars orbiter from India, on its exploratory mission, has a very limited scientific payload. It only carried with it five instruments. Mangalyaan was launched to discover what design it takes for an orbiter to survive and to study the makings of a spacecraft capable of performing pre-calculated maneuvers within a cruise-phase of 300 days.
Although MOM-1 was only launched with very limited scientific payload, it is already a full-pledged orbiter that is capable of autonomous settings, communications, and navigation, and of course the ability to explore the Martian surface and atmosphere.