It is officially the end of the Mangalyaan mission as ISRO confirmed in a statement that the Mars Orbiter craft lost communication with ground station and is non-recoverable.
Launched in November 2013 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the space probe has been orbiting Mars since September 2014. With its successful orbiting, the Mangalyaan mission made India the first Asian nation to reach the Martian orbit and the first in the world to do so on its first attempt. The mission was dubbed as “India’s pride” after it earned widespread praise and numerous awards for the same, effectively strengthening India’s standing among international space agencies.
The unmanned mission to Mars was initially recognised in 2008 by the former ISRO chairman, G. Madhavan Nair. The objective of the mission was to explore the Martian surface features as well as initiate research into the planet’s atmosphere. The orbiter was equipped with five scientific payloads that were designed to gather information on the surface geology, atmospheric processes, surface temperature, morphology and air escape process.
Nearly all of Mangalyaan’s intended goals were met in less than six months. The spacecraft fulfilled all of its missions in just a year. It nevertheless kept sending back valuable data from the Red Planet for eight years despite having an intended life-span of six months.
The mission also received praise for being the most affordable Mars mission to date with only $75 million in expenses. ISRO officials pointed out that the “MOM is credited with many laurels like cost-effectiveness, short period of realization, economical mass-budget, and miniaturization of five heterogeneous science payloads”. Fun fact: the Mangalyaan mission was executed with a budget lower than the amount spent to make the Hollywood movie Gravity!
Despite the fact that the upcoming Gaganyaan, Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya – L1 projects are at the top of the space agency’s current priority list, officials from ISRO confirmed that the future Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM-2) is officially in the design phase. Mangalyaan’s overall success was received as proof that the nation is capable of executing a record-breaking interplanetary mission at nominal costs.