To expand inter-planetary research, ISRO is seeking scientific proposals for Mars Orbiter Mission-2, the government said. In a written response to a question in Rajya Sabha, Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office that looks after the Department of Space, said the configuration, objectives and scientific experiments of MoM-2 is yet to be formulated.
“A call for proposals through an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) has been made within India to seek proposal for scientific experiments for Mars Orbiters Mission-2,” Singh said. He said MoM-1 has completed 25 months in orbit and is presently functioning satisfactorily.
Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), or Mangalyaan is India’s first mission to Mars that was launched on September 24, 2014 from Sriharikota on top of a PSLV C25 rocket. Mangalyaan is a ‘technology demonstrator’ spacecraft that serves as a prototype – a demonstration of a conceivable future system.
Being a technology demonstrator, Mangalyaan only carried five instruments on board with main objective, which was the design and realisation of a Mars orbiter with capability to survive and perform Earth bound manoeuvres, with a cruise phase of 300 days.
Other objectives of the first Mars Orbiter Mission include deep space communication, navigation, mission planning and management, incorporation of autonomous features to handle contingency situations; and exploration of Mars surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian atmosphere by indigenous scientific instruments.”
Mangalyaan 2 on the other hand will be featuring a much greater scientific payload, and will be fitted with a lander and a rover in addition to the orbiter.
ISRO also plans to make a second trip to the moon with the Chandrayaan-2. The Indian space agency has started conducting tests for Chandrayaan-2 at its facility in Challakere in Karnataka, where simulated craters have been created for landing mission.