India’s first mission to Mars, Mangalyaan, has reportedly run out of fuel and its battery drained past the safe limit. Over a decade after blasting its way to Mars from Earth, the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has probably completed its long innings. However, ISRO, the space research centre behind this mission, is yet to confirm this detail. Interestingly, the mission which was supposed to last six months, managed to survive eight years.
A report from PTI, citing sources familiar with this matter, says there’s no fuel left in the Mangalyaan, and the satellite battery has drained. It also says that ISRO has lost the link, meaning the contact between ISRO and the Mangalyaan has perished.
Further, it says there were rapid eclipses recently, among which one lasted for seven and half hours. Makers forged the satellite battery to handle an eclipse for around one hour and forty minutes. Still, the source added that a longer eclipse might have drained the battery beyond the safe limit.
India Today reported that this spacecraft equips five instruments to study Mars’ morphology, mineralogy, and atmosphere. The spaceship is a piece of evidence to demonstrate India’s capacity to plan, launch, and operate an interplanetary mission.
2013 saw the launch of India’s first interplanetary mission, “Mangalyaan,” on board PSLV-C25, making ISRO the fourth space agency to do so. With a cost of just Rs 450 crore, it was one of the most affordable extraterrestrial missions ever planned.
In the not-so-further future, India plans to launch a second mission to Mars, likely an orbiter. Without a formal announcement from ISRO, the previous director general, in 2021, K Sivan announced Mangalyaan-2 would launch following Chandrayaan-3, India’s upcoming mission. The planning for the second Mars expedition is currently ongoing.