ISRO's maiden interplanetary mission -- the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) -- has completed four years orbiting the Red Planet. Launched on November 5, 2013, the mission successfully placed itself into Martian orbit on September 24, 2014 in its first attempt. Although the designed mission life of MOM was six months, the satellite has continued to beam back science data from Mars for the past four years.
ALSO READ | Ancient Mars may have supported underground life
Taking to microblogging website twitter ISRO's Mars Orbiter handle said "It's been 4 years since I am around! Thank you for your love and support”. The tweet included an image taken by the orbiter of Olympus Mons -- the largest known volcano of the solar system.
The Mars Orbiter Mission is built with full autonomy to take care of itself for long periods without any ground intervention. The spacecraft came out of communication 'blackout' during this period.
MOM is the only Martian artificial satellite which could image the full disc of Mars in one view frame and also image the far side of the Martian moon Deimos.
The Mars Colour Camera has acquired over 980 images so far. The mission has also helped scientists successfully prepare a global atlas of Mars.
ALSO READ | Common herbicide may be killing honeybees: Study
Mangalyaan was developed at a staggeringly low price of Rs 4.5 billion which is 10 times cheaper than the American Maven orbiter, sent to the Red Planet.
#ISROMissions— ISRO (@isro) September 24, 2018
It's been four years since @MarsOrbiter successfully got inserted into Martian orbit on September 24, 2014 in its first attempt. #MOM's mission life was expected to be six months! So far, the Mars Colour Camera has acquired 980+ images. Mars Atlas is also ready. pic.twitter.com/z4GGkGvl0C