The success of Chandrayaan 3 has filled a different kind of confidence and enthusiasm among the scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation. This could be the reason that ISRO has announced multiple projects in upcoming years. This year, the National Space Agency of India has witnessed successes in their 2 main projects and received accumulation from all around the world. Now once again, ISRO has made exciting news and created a buzz. According to the reports, after the success of Mangalyaan, ISRO has decided to send another spacecraft to Mars. It is noted that the first spacecraft to Mars was sent 9 years ago, creating history.
According to Hindustan Times, the officials of ISRO have stated that India is all set to send another spacecraft to Mars under the vision of Mars Orbiter Mission-2. This would be the 2nd spacecraft that is planned to be placed another rocket in orbit around the red planet. The first attempt was quite successful which boosted the confidence of sending the 2nd spacecraft. As per another media report, Mars Orbiter Mission-2 which is informally known as Mangalyaan-2 would carry 4 payloads to Mars. The 2nd spacecraft to Mars will study aspects of the red planet including the Martian environment and atmosphere, and the interplanetary dust.
An official of ISRO, who remained anonymous states that “All of these payloads are in different stages of development.” Nine years back, on 24 September, India wrote its name in history by successfully entering the orbit of Mars in its very first attempt. This feat had not been accomplished by other space agencies at that time. The objectives of the first Mars mission of India included the realisation, design and launch of a Mars Orbiter spacecraft capable of managing with sufficient autonomy at the time of its voyage phase. According to the mission document, “The second mission of Mars will carry a Radio Occultation (RO) experiment, a Mars Orbit Dust Experiment (MODEX), a Langmuir Probe and Electric Field Experiment (LPEX), and an Energetic Ion Spectrometer (EIS).”
The mission document further added that MODEX will aid in understanding the origin, distribution, flux, and abundance at high altitudes on the red planet. It further added that “There are no measurements of Interplanetary Dust Particles (IDPs) at Mars. The instrument will have the ability to detect particles of size from a few hundred nm to a few um, travelling at hypervelocity (> 1 Km/s). The result can help to explain the dust flux at the red planet, and whether there is any ring around Mars. This instrument will also help to confirm whether the dust is coming from Deimos or Phobos (the two moons of Mars) or interplanetary. The study of dust can help explain the experiment results of RO.”
The Reverse Osmosis experiment is created to measure electron and neutral density profiles. According to the reports of Hindustan Times, the instrument is basically a microwave transmitter operating at X-band frequency that can be helpful to measure and understand the behaviour of Mars’ atmosphere. It is noted that the atmosphere of Mars is 95% carbon dioxide, 1.6% argon, and 3% nitrogen and it also has traces of water, methane, oxygen, carbon monoxide and other gases.
In order to understand the loss of atmosphere on Mars, the Indian space agency is planning to create an EIS to characterize the particles of solar energy and supra-thermal solar wind particles in Mars’ environment. EIS will help ISRO’s scientists understand the elements behind the loss of the Martian atmosphere. According to the reports, the instrument will help to measure high-energy charged particles. Moreover, the LPEX will enable the measurement of electron temperature, electron field waves, and electron number density, all of which will give a good photo of the plasma environment on the red planet.