By Newsgram Staff Writer
India’s maiden Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has been extended for another six months to further explore the Red Planet and its atmosphere, said a senior official on Tuesday.
“As the 1,340 kg Mars Orbiter has sufficient fuel (37 kg) to last longer than it was intended earlier, its mission has been extended for another six months,” the senior official of the Indian space agency said.
The Mars Mission was launched on November 5, 2013 on board a polar rocket from spaceport Sriharikota off Bay of Bengal, about 80 km of Chennai with a budget of Rs.450-crore ($70 million).
“The five scientific instruments onboard the spacecraft (Orbiter) will continue to collect data and relay it to our deep space network centre here for analysis,” state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) director Devi Prasad Karnik said.
Orbiter takes 3.2 Earth days or 72 hours, 51 minutes and 51 seconds to go round Mars once while orbiting at a distance of 500 km nearest and over 80,000 km farthest from its red surface.