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The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) or Mangalyaan (Hindi for "Mars Craft") is designed to study Mars from orbit. The scientific objectives are to explore Mars' surface features, morphology, mineralogy, and atmosphere. To achieve these objectives, the spacecraft is equipped with five scientific instruments and was nominally planned to spend 6-10 months orbiting and making measurements at Mars.

Spacecraft and Subsystems

The Mangalyaan spacecraft is based on a modified IRS/INSAT/Chandrayaan-1 bus. The main body is a roughly 1.5 m cube constructed of aluminum and composite fiber reinforced plastic sandwich material. Total mass is 1,340 kg, of which 852 kg is fuel. A 1.4 x 1.8 m solar array wing consisting of three panels is mounted on one side of the spacecraft. It can generate 800 W power at Mars and charges a 36 amp-hr lithium-ion battery. The bus is built around a 440 N bi-propellant (monomethyl hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide) thruster and propellant tanks with 390 liter capacity. Attitude control is achieved by four reaction wheels and eight small thrusters, with knowledge provided by two star sensors, a solar panel Sun sensor, and a coarse analog Sun sensor. Communications are via a 2.2 m S-band high gain antenna, a medium gain antenna, and a low gain antenna.

The science payload has a total mass of 15 kg and comprises five instruments. The Mars Color Camera, the Lyman Alpha Photometer, the Thermal Imaging Spectrometer, the Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyzer, and the Methane Sensor for Mars.

Mission Profile

Mangalyaan launched at 09:08 UTC (14:38 IST, 4:08 a.m. EST) on 5 November 2013 on a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C25) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India. Six burns raised the apogee of the orbit and the spacecraft left Earth orbit and headed for Mars on 01 December 2013. After a 300-day cruise a 24-minute orbital insertion burn on 24 September 2014 starting at 1:47:32 UT (7:17:32 a.m. ISU) put the spacecraft in an elliptical 76.7-hour Mars orbit, 366 x 80,000 km with an inclination of 150 degrees. The nominal mission was planned for 6-10 months at Mars, but the orbiter remained operational until April 2022 when comunications were lost, probably due to depletio of propellant for attitude control. The total cost of the mission was roughly 4.5 billion rupees ($70 million contemporaneous US).

Alternate Names

  • 39370
  • Mars Craft
  • Mars Orbiter Mission
  • Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2013-11-05
Launch Vehicle: PSLV
Launch Site: Sriharikota, India
Mass: 488 kg
Nominal Power: 800 W

Funding Agency

  • Indian Space Research Organization (India)


  • Planetary Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. A.S. Kiran KumarGeneral ContactIndian Space Research
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