India’s Mars Orbiter mission, known as MOM, has ended after eight years, although it was scheduled to last six months, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation. announced this week.

The Mars Orbiter launched on November 5, 2013 and entered orbit about 10 months later. Dr K Radhakrishnan, a member of the Indian Space Commission, said during a speech on Monday that it was a huge feat to successfully reach the orbit of Mars in the first attempt.

In 2014, more than half of the world’s attempts at such a mission – 23 out of 41 – failed, according to the Associated Press. The US successfully flew by Mars in 1964, when a spacecraft called Mariner 4 returned with 21 images of the planet’s surface. Other successful missions include the Soviet Union in 1971 and the European Space Agency in 2003.

A complete image of the disk of Mars taken by the Mars Orbiter mission.


India developed MOM for about $75 million — a bargain compared to NASA’s $671 million Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or Maven, mission launched around the same time. Maven was in space for eight years and 10 days, according to NASA.

MOM, India’s first interplanetary mission, was to orbit Mars for at least six months, with five solar-powered instruments collecting scientific data. During eight years of being in the atmosphere of Mars, scientists from several institutions collected information about the features of the planet’s surface, morphology, atmosphere and exosphere.

Scheme of the Martian orbital mission


The Indian Space Research Organization reported that 7,200 users have registered to download the data, of which 400 are international users from 50 countries.

The orbiter also observed a dust storm, which gave scientists a sense of the dust on the planet. He photographed the reverse side of Deimos, one of the natural moons of Mars, for the first time. And it helped scientists to study landslides on Mars.

The orbiter lost contact with the ground station during the extended eclipse in April 2022. The Indian space agency said it must have been exhausted and they said the spacecraft was beyond repair and said it had reached the end of its life. Its mission is considered “a great technological and scientific feat in the history of planetary exploration,” the agency said.