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Built to Last Just 6 Months, India's 'Mangalyaan' Marks Four-Year Space Anniversary

The Mangalyaan mission completed four years this week!

Raka Mukherjee | News18.com@RakaMukherjeee

Updated:September 29, 2018, 1:38 PM IST
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Built to Last Just 6 Months, India's 'Mangalyaan' Marks Four-Year Space Anniversary
The Mangalyaan mission completed four years this week!
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When India's Mars Orbiter(MoM) Mission, more commonly known as 'Mangalyaan' left the ISRO launchpad on November 5, 2013, it was only designed to be in space for six months. Four years later, it is still spinning.

After arriving at Mars and fulfilling its mission requirement of half a year of in-orbit operation, MOM became the first maiden Mars mission of any country to succeed. Furthermore, MOM was the most economical interplanetary mission to date and it was achieved in just six months.

While this marked a huge achievement for India's space capabilities - it also focused attention on what happens next to the orbiter - and was discovered that it could have a long life based on the amount of propellant left aboard the spacecraft after achieving orbit.

Earlier this week, the orbiter completed four years of being in space.

The reason the orbiter has been spinning so perfectly for so long is because, MOM is built with full autonomy to take care of itself for long periods without any ground intervention. The spacecraft came out of communication ‘blackout’ and ‘whiteout’ geometry successfully during its space endeavor so far. This implies that the craft goes through hibernation periods to ensure that it stays on its orbit.

And while the orbiter has been spinning in Mars orbit, it hasn't always been so smooth.

Shortly after the two year mark, there was a course correction by ISRO to make sure that the orbiter still continues orbiting around the red planet.

The spacecraft has managed to capture many stunning visuals of the red planet so far.
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