Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Current Affairs - 2020

Mangalyaan captures Image of Mars Biggest Natural Satellite ‘Phobos’

The Mangalyaan Mission (also known as Mars Orbiter Mission) of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has captured the image of Phobos (the largest Moon or Natural Satellite of Mars) on 1st July 2020. The image was shared by ISRO on 3rd July 2020.

The image of Phobos was captured from a distance of 4200 kilometres by the Mars Orbiter Mission on 1st July. At that time, the Mars Orbiter Mission was at a distance of 7200 kilometres from Mars. ISRO has further stated that 210 metres is the spatial resolution of the captured image.

Stickney Crater

Stickney Crater is the largest crater on the Phobos. In the image captured by Mars Orbiter Mission, Stickney Crater is visible along with Roche, Shklovsky and Grildrig craters of Phobos.

Mars Orbiter Mission

The Mangalyaan mission was launched on 5th November 2013 from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre located in Andhra Pradesh’s barrier island Sriharikota.

The mission was launched by the Rocket PSLV-C25. It entered the orbit of Mars successfully in the first attempt on 24th September 2014.

Natural Satellites of Mars

Phobos and Deimos are the two natural satellites of Mars. Both the moons of Mars were discovered by Asaph Hall in the year 1877. Phobos is seven times larger than Deimos.

Phobos orbits at around 6,000 Km from the surface of the Mars, while Deimos orbits at around 23,460 Km from the Mars. Therefore, Phobos is referred to as the Innermost Natural Satellite of Mars whereas Deimos is the outermost.

Gaganyaan Mission: ISRO to tap technologies of local start ups

The Indian Space Research Organization has identified 17 technologies at lower costs from Indian start ups to use in Gaganyaan mission.


The technologies identified includes food and medicine for astronauts, life support systems, inflatable habitats, thermal protection technologies and anti-radiation technologies. ISRO will also share its intellectual properties with the companies participating in the mission.

India had sent its Air Force pilots to Russia to get trained for the Gaganyaan mission.

Gaganyaan Mission

Gaganyaan is a crewed space programme of ISRO. Under the programme, three air force pilots will be carried to space. The crewed mission is to be launched in December 2021. Along with the crew, a female looking robot Vyommitra is to accompany the astronauts. The robot will provide warnings if the environmental changes within the cabin gets uncomfortable to the astronauts.

The flight is for 7 days.


The Gaganyaan Mission was initiated during the eleventh five year plan. The total cost of the mission is estimated to be Rs 124 billion. Rs 500 million was released in 2012. In 2018, the GoI approved 100 billion rupees.

The plan of startups being involved was also announced by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman during her fifth tranche of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan announcement. The scheme has allocated Rs 20 lakh crore rupess. Before to the scheme, GoI had also launched Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana.