Mars Orbiter Mission 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.

ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission completes 3 years in orbit

ISRO’s globally acclaimed Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) also known as Mangalyaan completed three years in Martian orbit. It has outlived its original lifespan and is still in good health and continues to work as expected.

On the occasion of completion of three years, ISRO released MOM second year science data from September 24, 2014 to September 23, 2016.

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)

Mangalyaan spacecraft was launched on board of PSLV C25 rocket from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on November 5, 2013 with aim of studying Martian surface and mineral composition as well as scan its atmosphere for methane (an indicator of life on Mars). It had entered Mar’s orbit on September 24, 2014, in its first attempt. It was nine-month-long mission.

The spacecraft was indigenously designed, built and launched by ISRO in record period of less than two years in Rs.450 crore ($73 million US) budget, making it cheapest inter-planetary mission till date to reach Mars.

The spacecraft has five instruments mounted on it for collecting scientific data of Mar’s morphology, atmospheric processes, surface temperature, surface geology and atmospheric escape process. These five instruments are Lyman-Alpha Photometer (LAP), Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM), Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA), Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS) and Mars Colour Camera (MCC)


In September 2014, India (ISRO) created space history by becoming first nation in world to successfully launch interplanetary mission spacecraft into Mars orbit in maiden attempt. ISRO also become first Asian and fourth space agency in world to reach Mars orbit after the Roscosmos of Russia, NASA and European Space Agency.


For its enormous success in Mangalyaan mission, ISRO was conferred 2014 Indira Gandhi Peace Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development. The programme team of mission was conferred with prestigious 2015 Space Pioneer Award in Science and Engineering category by National Space Society (NSS).