Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), the ambitious satellite launched by ISRO to learn more about the red planet completed four years in orbit on the September 24. It’s a great achievement for the Indian space agency considering the fact that it was able to achieve such a big milestone in the most cost-effective way and on its very first attempt under a short period of time. It is also worth noting that mission was originally designed for only six months, but the satellite still continues to churn out data and as per ISRO’s claims is still in good health.
Launched back in November 2013, the satellite found its way in to the Mars orbit by September 24, 2014. After that, it has helped abundantly in learning more about the red planet. With its on-board color camera, the satellite has managed to click and send more than 980 images. Not just about Mars, but the satellite has also provided up close images of the two moons around the planet, Phobos and Deimos. MOM is also the only Martian artificial satellite which could image the full disc of Mars in one frame and also image the far side of Deimos.
The images and data collected from MOM over the years has been used in multiple publications till date. Two days ago ISRO also released the data collected by the satellite in its third year of journey. The organization claims that more than 2,100 users have registered on its website and downloaded more than 620GB of data till date.
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ISRO is also currently trying to expand its scientific community through an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) made on its website, looking for volunteers to help analyze the data collected and possibly publish new findings. It has also conducted a planetary data analysis workshop to enhance exposure and reach of MOM-AO scientists.