The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is left with 35 kg of fuel, which will last it for two to three years more as the consumption of the spacecraft is quite low, said Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairperson AS Kiran Kumar.
Speaking on the sidelines of Prof Satish Dhawan Commemoration on 20 September, Kiran said scientists had estimated the Mars mission to last for six months, but the craft’s performance has overcome all expectations.
The lecture was delivered by Dr K Radhakrishnan, a former chief of the ISRO. “Since the mission has gone through solar conjunction also, we don’t see much of a problem,” Kumar said.
While giving reasons behind the low fuel consumption, Kumar said the spacecraft hasn’t faced any failure since its launch and scientists also took into account various tough situations in which fuel consumption might have increased, but the mission was smooth.
The ISRO launched the Mangalyaan mission on a PSLV rocket from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on 5 November 2013. With this, India became the first country in the world to send a probe on Mars in its first attempt.
The ISRO will celebrate the first anniversary of Mars Orbit insertion on 24 September. Then, the ISRO will release an atlas that will contain photos taken by a colour camera on board the spacecraft.
“On 24 September, apart from the images, we will release results from the Methane Sensor…. then, on November 5, we are bringing out a book, ‘Fishing hamlet to Mars’,” said Kumar.