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India's Mars mission among top-5 tracked satellites

November 10, 2013 13:02 IST

The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is among the most-tracked satellites in the world, according to N2YO, which provides a web-based real-time satellite mapping website.

According to the site, MOM, launched on November 5, was fourth among the top-50 tracked satellites. Two other Indian satellites also made it to the top 50.

According to the site, at 1:50 pm on Saturday, the MOM spacecraft was flying over Oman. Early Saturday morning, the third orbit-raising manoeuvre was successfully completed for the MOM, with a burn time of 707 seconds.

N2YO's list of the top-50 tracked satellites was based on user activity for past 12 hours. MOM stood fourth.

The most-tracked satellite was Ibuki (GOSAT), launched by Japan in 2009. The Ibuki (GOSAT) satellite is equipped with a greenhouse gas observation sensor and a cloud/aerosol sensor.

This was followed by European Space Agency's GOCE, launched in 2009. It is a slender, winged ion-driven satellite launched to measure Earth's gravitational field with unprecedented precision. GOCE data will also provide a new understanding of tectonic activity, which could lead to better forecasts of earthquakes.

The third-most tracked satellite was ISS (ZARYA), launched in 1998 by the International Space Station.

The two other Indian satellites in the top 50 are the GSAT 7 (11th position) and the INSAT 3D. The GSAT 7, also called INSAT 4F, was the 17th Indian satellite launched by Arianespace in August 2013. It relays communication between Indian naval vessels and military commanders. Positioned over the equator at 74 degrees longitude, GSAT 7 covers the Indian subcontinent and neighboring waters.

The INSAT 3D is a meteorological satellite launched in July. It is 46th on the N2YO list.

T E Narasimhan