Indian Martian exploration program

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Olympus Mons - a large shield volcano on the planet Mars
Olympus Mons is a large shield volcano on the planet Mars. It has a height of nearly 22 km. Olympus Mons stands almost three times as tall as Mount Everest's height above sea level. It is the youngest of the large volcanoes on Mars, having formed during Mars's Amazonian Period. Several meteorological factors contribute to cloud formation.
This MCC image was taken on April 11, 2016 at an altitude of 22,794 km and resolution of 1,185 meters. The image shows cloud around Olympus Mons Region.
Courtesy: ISRO - Government of India
 
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MCC snapshot covering large region of mars
This MCC snapshot covers a large region of mars from Coogon valles and Oxia Palus at the bottom to focas region to the right top. Oxia Palus region has been studied to have abundant clay minerals. This is a map corrected MCC data set that can be overlaid on existing maps derived from earlier Mars observation missions. High, low albedo regions along with many craters are seen.
This image was captured by MCC on April 14, 2016 from an altitude of 21,924 km and with a resolution of 1.1 km. It covers 2100 x 2100 sq.km area approximately.
 
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Update on Mgy-1.
Arena Dorsum region of Mars

This MCC image was acquired on May 14 ,2016 at an altitude of 47, 437 km with a resolution of 2.37 km. MCC image covers almost the entire disk of mars. The dark and bright portions owe their albedo changes due to the materials present in those regions.
True mars color composite was produced by additional processing taking into consideration of spectral bandwidths of red, green and blue profiles, their overlap and geophysical validation. This image was also enhanced for better visual appeal.
 
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MCC 3D View Movie made from Mars global mosaic

MCC full disc images are actually obtained in perspective geometry. These images have been rectified using geometric correction steps to align to the Mars global map including a map projection step. Each one of the full disc images covers partial portion of the Mars disc but not complete. While mosaicing the images, relative geometric differences were removed by additional image registration procedure. A seamless Mars full disc canvas was prepared, adjusting the colour differences between images.
Subsequently, the Mars Global mosaic was rendered by a 3D Planet engine with the parameters specific to Mars enabling to take any view of the planet according to the viewer position and altitude.
Eight full disc images from Dec2015 and Jan 2016 MCC were used. The Pixel Resolution was uniformly scaled to 4 km pixels.
MCC 3D View Movie on Website
 
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MCC Image of Impact Crater - Flammarion

This MCC image was taken on July 10, 2016 from an altitude of 5,439 km. It covers Impact Crater called Flammarion situated at Indus Vallis. Flammarion has several layers of deposit due to different geological processes. The picture shows a heavily cratered landscape with bright and low albedo features.
This image was obtained after the "MOM White Out" during June 2016 when there was no communication to Earth.
 
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Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for future Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM-2)
The geomorphological features on Mars suggests an early warm and wet climate, and perhaps conducive to the emergence of primitive life. Mars is considered to be unique as it has experienced processes similar to that existing on Earth during formation and its evolution. Recent discoveries have revealed that Mars possesses a record of diverse surfaces created as a result of geological processes occurring prior to 3 Ga, and recent volcanism, weathering events during the last few 100 Million years. This complete geological record is yet to be found on Moon or the Earth, and therefore new Mars missions provide an opportunity to address questions regarding planetary evolutionary processes, how and whether life arose elsewhere in the solar system, and the interplay between geological and possible biological history.
Previous orbiter and rover missions to Mars have provided direct evidence for the presence of hydrated minerals on the exposed surface and the presence of water ice at sub-surface regions. Existence of methane has been proposed from a few limited ground based and space based observations, but these are yet to be confirmed unambiguously.
The understanding of the temporal evolution of the Martian atmosphere necessitates new measurements to quantify the loss of atmospheric water and carbon dioxide. Future Mars missions are focusing on in situ surface/subsurface probing by landers and rovers, with orbiters continuing studies of Martian surface and sub-surface and also serving as continued communication link to Earth. An orbiter mission with focused science objectives can provide valuable global Mars science.
The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has successfully demonstrated India’s technological capability for interplanetary exploration. MOM carries five scientific payloads to study the Martian surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian atmosphere. Analysis of MOM data is under progress.
It is now planned to have the next orbiter mission around Mars for a future launch opportunity. Proposals are solicited from interested scientists within India for experiments onboard an orbiter mission around Mars (MOM-2), to address relevant scientific problems and topics.
This “Announcement of Opportunity (AO)” is addressed to all institutions in India currently involved in planetary exploration studies / the development of science instruments for space. This orbiter mission will facilitate scientific community to address the open science problems. The Principal Investigator of the proposal should be (i) able to provide necessary details of the instrument which can address the scientific problems and (ii) capable to bring together the instrument team and lead the team for developing a space qualified instrument.
The payload capability of the proposed satellite is likely to be 100kg and 100W. However final values are to be tuned based on the final configuration. The apoarion of the orbit is expected to be around 5000 km.
Proposal (send the advance copy in doc and pdf versions and the original copy by speed post) is to be submitted through proper channel to

Programme Director,

Space Science Programme Office,

ISRO HQ, Antariksh Bhavan,

New BEL Road,

Bangalore-460231
Email:[email protected]
The last date for receiving the proposals through proper channel with the following details (see the format) is on 6th September 2016.
Format for submitting the proposal
  1. Executive Summary of the proposal (two pages)
  2. Scientific Objective
  3. Detailed scientific justification including expected results and significance compared to previous and contemporary missions
  4. Mass, power, volume requirements of the experiment
  5. Any other special requirements from the mission
  6. Detailed pert chart and time schedule for completion of Laboratory Model / Verification model, which should have same design and approximately same size as flight model.
  7. In addition, indicate the time duration required for development, testing and calibration of Qualification Model (Should be identical in Mass, Volume and Design as Flight Model and should undergo all environmental tests) and Flight Model from T0; assuming T0 being the date of approval for the project proposal.
  8. Calibration procedures for the experiment and plans for data processing, analysis, software pipeline.
  9. Available facility at your institute/ laboratory for the development and calibration of the payload
  10. Scientific and Engineering team proposed to be involved and their expertise and achievements in the related field.
  11. Year-wise budget requirements
In order to arrive at the most optimum suite of experiments for Mars exploration, the proposers of shortlisted proposals will be requested to make a presentation to the Advisory Committee for Space Science (ADCOS) before finalization. The final selected proposals will incorporate any suggestions made by the ADCOS and submit the final copy through the head of their respective institutions.
Mangalyaan - 2 Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Please, hange the title to Indian Mars Exploration Program. @Kunal Biswas[/QUOTE]
 
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Mangalyaan Still Going Strong, To Have Course Correction: ISRO

File photo of Mangalyaan undergoing testing
Ahmedabad: Nearly two years after it was launched, 'Mangalyaan' is still functioning well, and with a planned course correction next January to extend its battery life, it would keep going for many years, ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar said today.
The correction in the trajectory of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MoM) is required to keep the power supply strong during a long-duration eclipse - caused by shadow of Mars falling on it for 7-8 hours - so that it could continue to function longer, he said.
"The long-duration eclipse period (in January) could cripple the satellite if no corrections are done because the battery cannot support long-duration eclipse," Mr Kumar said.
He delivered a lecture at IIT-Gandhinagar as a part of the institute's Roddam Narasimha Distinguished Lecture series. He spoke about the MoM during the lecture, and also afterwards when speaking to reporters.
"Once it (correction) is done, the satellite can last for many years and we can study multiple season activities on the Mars...Originally we had not anticipated this situation. The course correction will reduce the effect of the eclipse by half so that the battery could sustain it," he said.
"While we started, it was a basic mission of only six months. On September 24, we would be completing two years and we still have all the fuels and all the systems working on it, providing information from all five payloads for many years to come," Mr Kumar said.
ISRO is also working on its second lunar mission spacecraft, Chandrayaan-II, he said.
"Unlike Chandrayaan-I, we have planned a controlled descent of Chandrayaan-II which we intend to put into orbit by the end of next year or early part of 2018....We have already done development of Rover and Liner. Rover engineering version is undergoing test," he said.
 
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ISRO sets the ball rolling for Mars Mission-2

Prof. U.R. Rao. File photo: H.S. Manjunath
A second Indian Mars orbiting mission plan has just been set in motion.
Nearly three years after it launched a world record making MOM (Mars Orbiter Mission) the Indian Space Research Organisation has invited Indian planetary scientists from the academia and research bodies to suggest which aspects of Mars should now be studied, along with the instruments they can provide for MOM-2.
Although a second Martian venture has been in the air, the latest `Announcement of opportunity' or AO is the first formal whiff of it. The scientists have been asked to make their proposals by September 6.
Short window
An official privy to the developments said the exact date and details of MOM2 would depend on the proposals that would come in. He estimated that "We should ideally have the total picture of the mission by the end of this year or at least before the 2017 Budget." Payloads and experiments would be the focus of the second mission.
MOM is famous for being the first mission by any country to reach Mars in the very first attempt. Russia, the US and Europe have failed in their debuts.
Space agencies get the best opportunity to send a spacecraft to Mars once in 26 months based on the relative positions of Earth and Mars, which constantly move around Sun.
Considering that India and the US both sent their respective Mars missions days apart in November 2013, the next two opportunities were around January 2016 (considered not very conducive) and around March 2018.
Why a second Martian mission? Scientists believe that the atmosphere, land and minerals on Mars, which has similarities with Earth, may answer questions on how planets evolved, whether there is life elsewhere in the solar system and perhaps suggest the future of Earth itself.
Questions remain
U.R.Rao, cosmologist, former ISRO Chairman and chairman of ADCOS (Advisory Committee for Space Science) that shapes Indian planetary pursuits, said Mars needs a closer look than what MOM has done. "We still do not know many things about Mars. Methane study [that MOM carries] still is important, and also a study of the Martian dust and its ionosphere."
MOM, Dr. Rao said, was a "great engineering feat" that taught India how to reach the red planet and has sent down good pictures of Mars across millions of kilometres. The MOM-2 spacecraft should ideally have an orbit of 200 km x 2,000 km. It should take better experiments with sharper instruments along and use the bigger GSLV rocket to propel it. Last time, ISRO used the light-lift PSLV.
 

pmaitra

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Shall we fork new thread for Mars Mission II or is it too early?
 
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Shall we fork new thread for Mars Mission II or is it too early?
I don't think we need a new thread for future Mars Missions, this title looks perfect for covering all future Mars mission plus, what's need for a new thread for every Mars mission?

By the way, current procedure is of only concept finalization, we'll get actual info after Chandrayaan 2.
So, it's not correct time.

Moreover, I'm thinking of a single thread for Indian Lunar Research Program as once ISRO chief had announced to conduct Chandrayaan 3 and 4 in near future.:)
 
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No trajectory correction in January 2017 could cripple Mangalyaan: ISRO chief
The eclipse of Mars is expected to happen in the first half of January will last 7-8 hours. By changing the trajectory, ISRO expects to cut down the duration of the eclipse by half.
By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |Updated: August 11, 2016 10:22 AM
ISRO’s Mangalyaan mission launch. (PTI/ File)
A long duration eclipse, scheduled to occur in January 2017, could cripple ISRO’s Mangalyaan mission if a timely course correction is not initiated, said ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar while addressing students at Indian Institute of Technology-Gandhinagar (IIT-Gn) on Wednesday.
“While this mission was meant to last for six months, this September 24 we will be completing two years and we still have enough fuel for the five payloads working on it to last many more years. We have one activity, which we will be doing in January of next year, when the long duration eclipse period could cripple the satellite if no corrections are done,” said Kiran Kumar while delivering a lecture on “Space Technology — Contribution to India’s Development”.
“The batteries on the satellite cannot support long duration eclipse and we are going to change the trajectory of the satellite so that the eclipse duration comes down. And once that is done the satellite can last many more years and we can study multiple seasons and activities on Mars,” he added.
The eclipse of Mars is expected to happen in the first half of January will last 7-8 hours. By changing the trajectory, ISRO expects to cut down the duration of the eclipse by half.
Though Mangalyaan is close to spending two years in the Martian orbit, it still contains about 30 kilograms of fuel, the ISRO chief said. The Mars Orbiter Mission was launched in November 5, 2013 from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. After a 298-day transit it was inserted into the Mars’ orbit on September 24, 2014 from where it has been busy clicking pictures and collected data of the Martian atmosphere.
The MOM has already functioned a couple of very crucial maneuver which included changing the orbit on October 2014, when Comet Siding Spring flew past the red planet. Similarly, a 15-day communication black out occurred in June 2015, when the MoM went behind the Sun and remained incommunicado.
According to KIran Kumar, ISRO would be launching a geostationary weather satellite INSAT-3DR in a month’s time. He said that India currently has about 34 satellites providing communication data. “We need many more. We need to practically double it by 2020,” Kiran Kumar later told mediapersons.
Everything has an end after all. LOL.:biggrin2:
Though, I'm wishing that the spacecraft survives, I'll be putting updates related to Mgy-2 as well.
 
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ISRO Plans Return to Mars with Mangalyaan 2.0
The next Mars mission will likely be launched in March 2018, have a less elliptical orbit around the red planet and could weigh seven times more than the first mission.

An image of Mars taken by the Colour Camera onboard MOM-1 from a height of 8,449 km. Credit: ISRO
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) wants to return to Mars with a second Mars Orbiter Mission. It has published an ‘announcement of opportunity’ on its website soliciting proposals from institutions around India of the scientific studies that the orbiter could undertake. The mission will likely be launched in March 2018, when Earth and Mars become optimally aligned again in their orbits around the Sun for a craft to journey between them using a fuel-saving manoeuvre. However, no date has been officially announced.
The following is an annotation of the announcement with the relevant details.

The geomorphological features on Mars suggests an early warm and wet climate, and perhaps conducive to the emergence of primitive life. Mars is considered to be unique as it has experienced processes similar to that existing on Earth during formation and its evolution. Recent discoveries have revealed that Mars possesses a record of diverse surfaces created as a result of geological processes occurring prior to 3 [billion years], and recent volcanism, weathering events during the last few 100 million years. This complete geological record is yet to be found on Moon or the Earth, and therefore new Mars missions provide an opportunity to address questions regarding planetary evolutionary processes, how and whether life arose elsewhere in the solar system, and the interplay between geological and possible biological history.
Previous orbiter and rover missions to Mars have provided direct evidence for the presence of hydrated minerals on the exposed surface and the presence of water ice at sub-surface regions. Existence of methane has been proposed from a few limited ground based and space based observations, but these are yet to be confirmed unambiguously.
ISRO’s first MOM (MOM-1), which got into orbit around Mars in September 2014, has been looking for signs of atmospheric methane while studying surface features – just like the NASA MAVEN mission that started operating around the same time. Methane is considered a biomarker: a substance whose presence indicates the current or historical presence of life. The American space agency’s Curiosity rover on the Martian surface has also been analysing minerals and dust, looking for signs of water as well as other biomarkers. These explorers will soon be joined by the Euro-Russian ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, a satellite en route to Mars and which will closely study Mars’s atmospheric composition once it gets there.
The understanding of the [evolution over time] of the Martian atmosphere necessitates new measurements to quantify the loss of atmospheric water and carbon dioxide.
This loss has been driven by the solar wind, the stream of charged particles emerging from the Sun. As the particles flow past Mars’s atmosphere, they excite charged particles, which then get accelerated and shot into space. The NASA MAVEN mission has measured this rate to be 100 grams per second.
One key finding revealed today is that the solar wind strips gas from #Mars at about 100 grams (~1/4 lb) per second.pic.twitter.com/VOjMSTY4mZ

— NASA's MAVEN Mission (@MAVEN2Mars) November 5, 2015
Future Mars missions are focusing on in situ surface/subsurface probing by landers and rovers, with orbiters continuing studies of Martian surface and sub-surface and also serving as continued communication link to Earth. An orbiter mission with focused science objectives can provide valuable global Mars science.
The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has successfully demonstrated India’s technological capability for interplanetary exploration.
This was actually the mission’s primary objective. Studying the planet using its payload of scientific instruments was the secondary mission.
MOM carries five scientific payloads to study the Martian surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian atmosphere. Analysis of MOM data is under progress.
The last line is particularly relevant: since September 2014, only one scientific study based on MOM’s findings has been published in a peer-reviewed journal (in February 2016). While ISRO releases a squirt of photos taken by the orbiter of the red planet every now and then, information of no other discoveries – if any – is yet available in the public domain.
While it is commendable that the space organisation is doing what needs to be done to continue the Indian scientific community’s contribution to the interesting-as-ever study of Mars, the announcement for a MOM-2 is also important for what it says about the relevance of MOM-1’s findings. As mentioned earlier, MOM-1 was primarily a technology demonstrator while the science was secondary, so the delay in publishing results is not that acutely felt. MOM-2 won’t have this leeway.
In fact, the sooner some results are available, the easier it will be for ISRO to make decisions about future missions, their scientific agenda and payloads and, overall, the problems that the space organisation will be uniquely positioned to tackle in the longer term.
It is now planned to have the next orbiter mission around Mars for a future launch opportunity. Proposals are solicited from interested scientists within India for experiments onboard an orbiter mission around Mars (MOM-2), to address relevant scientific problems and topics.
The last date to submit proposals is September 6, 2016. The Hindu reported that a “total picture of the mission” will likely be available closer to the presentation of the 2017 union budget.
This “Announcement of Opportunity (AO)” is addressed to all institutions in India currently involved in planetary exploration studies/the development of science instruments for space. This orbiter mission will facilitate scientific community to address the open science problems. The Principal Investigator of the proposal should be (i) able to provide necessary details of the instrument which can address the scientific problems and (ii) capable to bring together the instrument team and lead the team for developing a space qualified instrument.
The payload capability of the proposed satellite is likely to be 100kg…
To compare, MOM-1’s payload of instruments weighed a grand total of about 14 kg. So a 100-kilogram’s worth of instruments will well-widen the scope of studies and quality of observations that MOM-2 will be able to undertake. A flipside is that launching a 100-kg satellite will require ISRO to use the heavier GSLV rocket – and the GSLV rockets haven’t yet proved themselves reliable, nowhere near as reliable as the PSLV-class rocket that launched MOM-1. So ISRO will also have to focus on getting a reliable GSLV rocket in place.
… and 100W.
This is an oddity. MOM-1 was equipped with three power panels generating a total of 840 watts to power its instruments. MOM-2 should have a power supply of at least 1,000 watts. The ‘100W’ mentioned in the announcement is thought to be a typo.
However final values are to be tuned based on the final configuration. The apoarion of the orbit is expected to be around 5000 km.
The apoareaon is the highest point of an orbit around Mars. MOM-1, which is in a highly elliptical orbit, currently has an apoareon of ~77,000 km. An apoareon of 5,000 km for MOM-2 implies a much more circular orbit, in turn setting the context in which prospective investigators can think about what kind of science can be done.
 
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ISRO still mum on MOM data, NASA says not much water in Mars’ dark streaks
Representative image.
BENGALURU: As the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which has received more than 1.5 terabyte of data from Mars continues to remain mum on the Mars Orbiter Mission's (MOM) findings on the Red Planet, US' Nasa has said on Wednesday that the "seasonal dark streaks that have become one of the hottest topics in interplanetary research don't hold much water."
The new findings are from the Mars Odyssey mission, which is orbiting Mars and relies on ground temperatures measured by infrared imaging.
"They do not contradict last year's identification of hydrated salt at these flows, which since their 2011 discovery have been regarded as possible markers for the presence of liquid water on modern Mars," a Nasa statement read.
NASA, however, said that the the temperature measurements now identify an upper limit on how much water is present at these darkened streaks: about as much as in the driest desert sands on Earth.
When water is present in the spaces between particles of soil or grains of sand, it affects how quickly a patch of ground heats up during the day and cools off at night.
"We used a very sensitive technique to quantify the amount of water associated with these features," Christopher Edwards of Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff said in the Nasa statement, adding that the results are consistent with no moisture at all and set an upper limit at three percent water.
ISRO scientists though continue to remain mum on the findings of our Methane Sensor, which was sent aboard MOM to detect methane, a possible indication of life. Senior scientists maintain that the data is primarily being analysed by the principal investigators, following which it will be sent for peer review.
MOM has already outlived its expected life around Mars by nearly 18 months and continues to send in data. MOM was launched on November 5, 2013 and entered the Martian orbit on September 24, 2014. It was expected to have a life of around six months ending March 2015, but has continued to live on, orbiting the Red Planet.
 
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ISRO to perform key manoeuvre on Mars Orbiter next year
CHENNAI: With the Mars Orbiter Mission completing two years, ISRO today said it will be doing a "major event" of effecting a manoeuvre on the Orbiter next year to reduce the impact of an " eclipse duration" to allow the spacecraft "survive" for more time.
ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar said the MOM had completed two years yesterday, although its original mission life was slated to be six months, and that the space agency had released a lot of first year data beamed by its five payloads.
"Our next major event in the Mars Orbiter will be sometime in the beginning of next year when we will be doing a manoeuvre to reduce the impact of the eclipse duration the satellite is going to encounter," he told reporters here.
He said during an eclipse the battery in the satellite has to support its operation and if the eclipse duration is "very long" then the battery may not be able to support it.
"So we intend to do a manoeuvre of the spacecraft so that the impact of eclipse duration will reduce and with that we will be able to survive for many more years because the satellite still has large (amount of) fuel left in it," he added.
The MOM, also called Mangalyaan, was successfully launched on November 5, 2013 by ISRO's PSLV-C25 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre. After a 300-day journey in deep space, it was successfully inserted into Martian orbit on September 24, 2014.
 
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Danielson and Kalocsa - Craters on the planet Mars

Danielson crater is named after scientist George E Danielson who developed many space cameras flown to Mars. This crater is of 60 km width and is filled with layered sediments. Kalocsa crater lies below the Danielson crater and is of 33 km width. However, Mars Kalocsa crater does not show any layered sediments as seen in Danielson crater, though collocated with Danielson crater.
Mars Colour Camera (MCC) image was taken on September 24, 2016 at an altitude of 2453 km with a resolution of 122 meters.
 

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