India is poised to embark on a new chapter in space exploration, planning the launch of Mangalyaan-2, its second spacecraft mission to Mars, following the historic success of the Mars Orbiter Mission nine years ago. According to a Hindustan Times report, Mangalyaan-2, or the Mars Orbiter Mission-2, is slated to carry four scientific payloads designed to investigate various aspects of the red planet. The mission’s primary objectives include the study of Mars’ interplanetary dust, atmosphere, and environment. Among the payloads onboard, the Mars Orbit Dust Experiment (MODEX) will play a crucial role in examining the origin, abundance, distribution, and high-altitude flux of dust on Mars.
Additionally, the Radio Occultation (RO) experiment, operating at X-band frequency, is being developed to measure neutral and electron density profiles in the Martian atmosphere. This data is expected to enhance our understanding of the atmospheric behavior on Mars. To delve into the phenomenon of atmospheric loss on Mars, ISRO plans to deploy an Energetic Ion Spectrometer (EIS) to characterize solar energy particles and supra-thermal solar wind particles within the Martian environment.
The Langmuir Probe and Electric Field Experiment (LPEX) will contribute to the mission by facilitating the measurement of electron number density, electron temperature, and electric field waves, providing valuable insights into the plasma environment surrounding Mars. This upcoming mission underscores India’s dedication to space exploration and scientific inquiry. The detailed examination of Mars is poised to yield crucial insights into the planet’s geological and atmospheric dynamics, as well as broader processes associated with planetary evolution. The global scientific community eagerly anticipates the collective efforts aimed at unraveling the mysteries of our solar system.
On September 24, 2014, India achieved a historic milestone by successfully placing its Mars Orbiter spacecraft into orbit on its maiden attempt. The primary objectives of India’s inaugural Mars mission included developing, realizing, and launching a Mars Orbiter spacecraft with the capability to operate autonomously throughout the journey phase. This encompassed tasks such as Mars orbit insertion/capture and subsequent in-orbit operations around the Red Planet.
The first Mars mission carried a suite of five scientific payloads designed to investigate various aspects of Mars, including its surface features, morphology, mineralogy, and atmospheric composition. The deployment of these scientific instruments aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the Martian environment. This successful mission not only marked a significant moment in India’s space exploration history but also showcased the country’s advancing capabilities in space technology.