New Delhi: Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), the country's first inter-planetary expedition, is expected to live beyond its shelf life of six months, the government on Thursday said as it attributed a 37-kg reserved propellant to the increased life-span.
The planned life-span of Mars Orbiter Mission, after its insertion into the Mars orbit on September 24, 2014 is 6 months.
"The planned life-span (6 months) of MOM is completing on March 24, 2015. One of the life-limiting parameters of a spacecraft, under nominal orbital conditions, is the availability of propellant to maintain its orbit and orientation.
"In case of MOM, a reserve of 37 kg of propellant is available in the satellite. Since the health parameters of all critical systems of the satellite are very satisfactory, it is expected that MOM will outlive its planned life-span of 6 months," Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Department of Space said in a written response to a question Lok Sabha.
He added that the increased duration of observation of Mars by five scientific payloads will enhance the planetary science data and enable coverage of Mars in different seasons.
Singh said MOM, which was inserted in the orbit of Mars on September 24, 2014, is the first mission to use ship-borne terminals to track the launch vehicles and satellite over the Pacific ocean.