ISRO preparing second mission to Mars: Report

Mangalyaan-1, launched in Nov 2013, orbited the planet for seven years

Mangalyaan-1 Representational image

The Indian Space Research Organisation is working on sending Mangalyaan-2, its second mission to Mars, a report said. ISRO is making the second attempt nine years after the successful launch of its Mars Orbiter Mission in November 2013.

Quoting ISRO officials, the Hindustan Times reported that the Mars Orbiter Mission-2 would carry four payloads, instruments to study interplanetary dust, the Martian atmosphere and environment.

Payloads are in different stages of development, the report said.

The second mission would be carrying out the Mars Orbit Dust Experiment, a Radio Occultation experiment, an Energetic Ion Spectrometer and Langmuir Probe and Electric Field Experiment. According to the report, the experiments would help understand the dust flux at Mars, hypothesized presence of a ring around Mars and whether the dust is interplanetary or coming from Mars' two moons. 

Launched on November 5, 2013, Mangalyaan-1 or Mars Orbiter Mission was inserted into Martian orbit on September 24, 2014. Designed to last only for six months at a cost of $74 million, the Mangalyaan orbited the planet for seven years. 

According to ISRO, the mission had five scientific payloads onboard and it provided significant scientific details on Martian surface features, morphology, as well as the Martian atmosphere and exosphere. India succeeded in its Mars mission in its maiden attempt.

ISRO Chairman S. Somanth earlier said, “The mission is also credited with the discovery of ‘suprathermal’ Argon-40 atoms in the Martian exosphere, which gave some clue on one of the potential mechanisms for the escape of atmosphere from Mars.” 

The mission lost communication ground station due to a long eclipse in April 2022.