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Mars Orbiter Mission

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is ISRO’s first interplanetary mission to planet Mars with an orbiter craft designed to orbit Mars in an elliptical orbit of 372 km x 80000 km. Considering the critical mission operations and stringent requirements on propulsion, communications and other bus systems of the spacecraft, MOM is regarded as a challenging technological and science mission. The spacecraft was realised with the capability to perform Earth Bound Manoeuvre (EBM), Martian Transfer Trajectory (MTT) and Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI) phases. The related deep space mission planning and communication management at a distance of nearly 400 million km was indeed challenging.  Autonomous fault detection and recovery also were vital in the mission. More...

Mission Profile

The 1337 kg spacecraft was carried onboard PSLV C25 on November 5, 2013 from the Indian spaceport at SDSC, SHAR. The spacecraft was injected precisely into the intended 250 x 23000 km orbit with an inclination of 17.864 degree, marking the beginning of ISRO’s first interplanetary mission to planet Mars.

The minimum energy transfer opportunity from Earth to Mars occurs once in 26 months. The opportunity in 2013 demanded a cumulative incremental velocity of 2.592 km/sec.


    The following five payloads were included as per the recommendations of the ISRO’s Advisory Committee for Space Sciences (ADCOS).



                             Primary Objective

Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP)

Escape processes of Mars upper atmosphere through Deuterium/Hydrogen

Methane Sensor for MARS (MSM)

Detect presence of Methane

Martian Exospheric Composition

Explorer (MENCA)

Study the neutral composition of the Martian upper


MARS Colour Camera (MCC)

 Optical imaging

TIR imaging spectrometer (TIS)

Map surface composition and mineralogy


MENCA, acronym for Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser, is one of the five scientific payloads in the Mars Orbiter mission, contributed by SPL, VSSC. MENCA conducts in situ studies of the composition and distribution of the Martian exosphere as a function of radial distance and time. The Mars Orbiter spacecraft reached Mars, after a journey of 10 months, in September 2014: a period of high solar activity when the exosphere of Mars is expected to be more extended. Thus, the orbital opportunity and time frame of MOM are highly conducive to probe the upper atmosphere-exosphere of Mars.
The deployed views of the spacecraft indicating the scientific payloads are shown below.

mars-2 mars-3

    Site last updated: Monday 01 October 2018
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