September 8, 2020 By RJ

Mangalyaan also called as Mars Orbiter Mission, is a space probe orbiting Mars since 24 September 2014. It was launched on 5 November 2013 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).  It is India’s first interplanetary mission and it made it the fourth space agency to reach Mars, after Roscosmos, NASA, and the European Space Agency. It made India the first Asian nation to reach Martian orbit and the first nation in the world to do so on its maiden attempt in success of Mangalyaan.


Equipments used in Mangalyaan

  • Launch Vehicle : MOM was launched aboard PSLV C-25, which was an XL variant of the PSLV, one of world’s most reliable launch vehicles. The XL variant was earlier used to launch Chandrayaan (2008), GSAT-12 (2011) and RISAT-1 (2012).
  • Spacecraft : Based on the I-1-K satellite bus of ISRO that has proved its reliability over the years in Chandrayaan-1 and the IRS and INSAT series of satellites, the MOM spacecraft carries 850 kg of fuel and 5 science payloads.
  • Ground Segment : The Orbiter is being tracked by the Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN), located outside Bangalore. IDSN’s 32 m and 18 m diameter antennas are being complemented by NASA – JPL’s Deep Space Network.
  • Mission Profile : The Mars Mission or Mangalyaan was envisaged as a rendezvous problem, wherein the Mars orbiter is manoeuvred into a departure hyperbolic trajectory, escapes the SOI of Earth and thereafter enters the SOI of Mars.

PSLV- C25 Stages at a Glance

(UH25 + N2O4)
(HTPB Based)
(MMH + MON-3)
Propellant Mass (Tonne)13812.2427.62.5
Peak Thrust (kN)48007187992477.3 X 2
Burn Time (sec)10350148112525
Diameter (m)2.812.82.02.8
Length  (m)201212.83.62.7

Mars Orbiter Mission Spacecraft

Lift-off Mass1337 kg
StructuresAluminium and Composite Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) sandwich construction-modified I-1 K Bus
MechanismSolar Panel Drive Mechanism (SPDM), Reflector & Solar panel deployment
PropulsionBi propellant system (MMH + N2O4) with additional safety and redundancy features for MOI. Proplellant mass:852 kg
Thermal SystemPassive thermal control system
Power SystemSingle Solar Array-1.8m X 1.4 m – 3 panels – 840 W Generation (in Martian orbit), Battery:36AH Li-ion
Attitude and Orbit Control SystemAOCE (Attitude and Orbit Control Electronics): with MAR31750 Processor

Sensors: Star sensor (2Nos), Solar Panel Sun Sensor (1No), Coarse Analogue Sun Sensor

Actuators: Reaction Wheels (4Nos), Thrusters (8Nos), 440N Liquid Engine
Antennae:Low Gain Antenna (LGA), Mid Gain Antenna (MGA) and High Gain Antenna (HGA)
Launch DateNov 05, 2013
Launch SiteSDSC SHAR Centre, Sriharikota, India
Launch VehiclePSLV – C25

1)Geo centric Phase : The spacecraft is injected into an Elliptic Parking Orbit by the launcher. With six main engine burns, the spacecraft is gradually maneuvered into a departure hyperbolic trajectory with which it escapes from the Earth’s Sphere of Influence (SOI) with Earth’s orbital velocity + V boost. The SOI of earth ends at 918347 km from the surface of the earth beyond which the perturbing force on the orbiter is mainly due to the Sun.

One primary concern is how to get the spacecraft to Mars, on the least amount of fuel. ISRO uses a method of travel called a Hohmann Transfer Orbit – or a Minimum Energy Transfer Orbit – to send a spacecraft from Earth to Mars with the least amount of fuel possible. 

2)Helio Centric Phase : The spacecraft leaves Earth in a direction tangential to Earth’s orbit and encounters Mars tangentially to its orbit. The flight path is roughly one half of an ellipse around sun. Eventually it will intersect the orbit of Mars at the exact moment when Mars is there too. This trajectory becomes possible with certain allowances when the relative position of Earth, Mars and Sun form an angle of approximately 44o. Such an arrangement recur periodically at intervals of about 780 days.

3)Martian Phase : The spacecraft arrives at the Mars Sphere of Influence (around 573473 km from the surface of Mars) in a hyperbolic trajectory. At the time the spacecraft reaches the closest approach to Mars (Periapsis), it is captured into planned orbit around mars by imparting ∆V retro which is called the Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI) manoeuvre.


Facts about Mangalyaan

  •  India is the first country to conduct a successful Mars mission ‘Mangalyaan’ on its first try after US, European Space Agency and the former Soviet Union.
  • Mangalyaan’s on-orbit mission life is less than ten months.
  • The essential target of the Mangalyaan is to showcase nation’s rocket launch frameworks, shuttle building and operations capacities.
  • Mangalyaan is equipped with at least five solar powered equipments which will accumulate the information on Martian Climate and water, if it still exists on Mars. The Orbiter is expected to investigate the surface of the planet, availability of minerals and environment.
  •  The closest and farthest points of the Orbiter from Mars will be 365 Km and 80,000 Km respectively.
  • The Mission was carried out in a period of 15 months, utilizing an amount close to Rs 450 crores.
  • The Indian Deep Space Network will take care of navigation and keeping a check on the operations of the mission. NASA’s Deep Space Network will assist in administrations amid the non-visible time of the Indian Deep Space Network.
  •  The dry mass of the shuttle is 500 Kilos while will carry 850 Kilos of Propellant and Oxidizer to fuel the engine.