India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyan) to be launched on October, 2013

Approved by the government of India, Mangalyan is a millionaire interplanetary space project to establish an Indian craft into Mars’ orbiter which has been announced to be launched in October, 2013. The main objective of Mangalyan will be to deep study the Red Planet and its chemistry. After NASA’s Curiosity Rover, Roscosmos and ESA, ISRO’s Mangalyan will be the fourth craft to reach Mars. This article is small package of words explaining the Mangalyan, its objectives and more interesting information regarding the Indian Mars-craft.

The Mangalyaan mission has been worked on by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It is for the first time when Indian craft will explore the Red Planet from Mars’ orbit. As updated by ISRO, the Mangalyan has a mass of 500 kg.

India's Mars Orbiter Mission 2013 (Mangalyan) [Image credit: ISRO] |

Trajectory Design India's Mars Orbiter Mission 2013 (Mangalyan) [Image credit: ISRO] |

Mission Objectives

As shared by ISRO, one of the main objectives of the first Indian mission to Mars is to develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission.

The major tasks to be executed by Mangalyan are-
  • Design and realization of a Mars orbiter with a capability to survive and perform Earth bound maneuvers, cruise phase of 300 days, Mars orbit insertion / capture, and on-orbit phase around Mars.
  • Exploration of the surface, atmosphere, morphology and mineralogy of The Red Planet by advanced scientific instruments.
  • Deep space communication, navigation, mission planning and management.
  • Navigation of the planet in all phases.
  • Detection of the presence of Methane on Mars to examine the possibility of life, using the Methane sensor.


The spacecraft massing 1350 kg will carry a payload of 15 kg by mass consisting of five scientific instruments decided by the Advisory Committee for Space Sciences (ACSS). These five scientific instruments are as follows-

1. Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP)

  • To measure the relative abundance of deuterium and hydrogen from Lyman-alpha emission in the Martian upper atmosphere.
  • To understand especially the loss process of water from the planet.

2. Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM)
  • To detect the presence of Methane in Martian atmosphere.

3. Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA)
  • To analyze the neutral composition in the range of 1 to 300 amu with unit mass resolution.

4. Mars Color Camera (MCC)
  • To provide colored images and information about the surface features and composition of Martian surface.
  • To probe the two satellites of Mars – Phobos and Deimos
  • To provide the context information for other science payloads.

5. Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS)
  • To measure the thermal emission on the Red planet during day and night.
  • To map the surface composition and mineralogy of Mars.

Based on the studies, the payloads have been categorized into-
  • Atmospheric studies - Lyman Alpha Photometer and Methane sensor for Mars.
  • Particle environment studies- Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA).
  • Surface Imaging Studies- Mars Color Camera and Thermal Imaging Spectrometer.

Payloads India's Mars Orbiter Mission 2013 (Mangalyan) [Image credit: ISRO] |

The solar powered Mangalyan will be leaving Earth’s orbit on 28th October at 10:45 GMT from ISRO’s launch site at SDSC, SHAR, SriHarikota, Andhra Pradesh, India. Earlier, the launch date was supposed to fall in November of 2013. The Launch window will remain open from October 28, 2013 to November 19, 2013.

ISRO will use its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C25) to take the satellite into space, after which the Mangalyan should enter the Mars orbit in September, 2014, as planned.

The navigation and tracking support services will be provided by NASA’s Deep Space Network during the non-visible period of the Indian Deep Space Network.
India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyan) to be launched on October, 2013 India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyan) to be launched on October, 2013 Reviewed by Ank Arya on 15:04:00 Rating: 5
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