The indigenous Mars colour camera has so far clicked over 1,000 images of the Mars, ever since the Mars Orbiter began circling the red planet last year.
The Mars Atlas that was unveiled on Thursday to signify the completion of one year of Mangalyan or Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) in the Martian atmosphere has been prepared by Ahmedabad-based Space Applications Centre (SAC) — an arm of ISRO — which contains a compilation of images clicked by the MCC and other instruments on-board the orbiter.
“The camera was developed at SAC at the cost of about Rs 10 crore and has so far clicked 1,020 images. Some of these images are part of the Mars Atlas,” Tapan Misra, director of SAC, told The Indian Express.
“The MCC which is on-board the Mars Orbiter can click eight images of Mars during one single orbit of the planet. One orbit, however, takes about over three days and it takes over six hours for one image to travel back to Earth,” Misra added.
Currently the Mars orbiter is placed in an elliptical orbit around the red planet and the camera on-board clicks pictures at different altitudes ranging from 400 to 70,000 kilometres.
Some of the pictures that the colour camera clicked and have been published in the Mars Atlas, including those of Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the solar system, which has an altitude that is nearly three times the altitude of Mount Everest.
When asked which of the MCC pictures he likes the most, Misra said, “It is difficult to say which child of yours is the best. But images of Valles Marineris which is a grand canyon system that runs up to a length of 4,000 kilometres along the equator of Mars, the extraordinary event of the shadow of moon falling on Mars and the air glows are some of my personal favourites.”
SAC had initially selected about 200-odd images from the camera to be accommodated in the Mars Atlas. “Not all images have been included though,” the SAC director added.