India at Mars


ESA and NASA are both at Mars. Russia launched an ambitious mission to return a sample from the Martian moon Phobos, but a problem with the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft after launch ended the attempt and they sadly have not tried again.

You may or may not know India also has a spacecraft orbiting the Red Planet. The Indian Space Research Organisation – ISRO – launched the Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft (MOM) aboard a PSLV C-25 rocket.

The MOM mission reached Mars and is exploring and observing Mars surface features, morphology, mineralogy and the Martian atmosphere. The mission is also looking for methane in the atmosphere. Methane can be a marker of the existence of life in the right conditions.

MOM is also returning images from the Mars Color Camera (MCC), one of my favorites is Tyrrhenus Mons is shown here from an altitude of 3192 km / 1983 miles.

MOM has been quiet because of the conjunction (as was the Curiosity rover) and has started sending data back.

Image Credit: ISRO

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