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This article was first published 8 years ago  » News » With love, from Mars: Mangalyaan sends stunning images of red planet

With love, from Mars: Mangalyaan sends stunning images of red planet

August 21, 2015 08:51 IST
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The Indian Space Research Organisation has released a series of marvelous images of a canyon named Ophir Chasma and other physical formations on the surface of the Red Planet taken by the country's Mangalyaan Mars Orbiter.

The Ophir Chasma terrain. Photograph: ISRO

The images reveal in impressive detail, a massive canyon that spans about 317 kilometres long and 62 kilometres of the planet’s surface. The orbiter marks India’s first interplanetary venture.

Impact crater located SW of Huygens crater. Photograph: ISRO

MOM aims to study Mars' surface and mineral composition, and scan its atmosphere for methane, an indicator of life in Mars.

The mission also seeks to discover the presence of methane in the planet’s atmosphere, which could give clues as to the possible presence of past life on Mars.

Tyrrhenus Mons as seen by Mars Color Camera. Photograph: ISRO

"The word chasma has been designated by the International Astronomical Union to refer to an elongate, steep-sided depression. Ophir Chasma is part of the largest canyon system in the solar system known as Valles Marineris. The walls of the chasma contain many layers and the floors contain large deposits of layered materials. This image is taken on 19th July 2015 at an altitude of 1857 km with a resolution of 96 m," ISRO said on its website.

3D portrayals of Ophir Chasma terrain. Photograph: ISRO

India’s successful, low-cost Mars mission has been lauded as a major milestone for the country’s space program, with experts predicting that it could open the door to lucrative space deals with the US and Europe.

The images of the canyon were taken on July 19 by the orbiter's Mars Colour Camera.

Impact crater located SW of Huygens crater. Photograph: ISRO

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to micro-blogging site Twitter to congratulate Mangalyaan's efforts and praise the clicks.

Gale crater as seen by Mars Colour Camera on board Mars Orbiter Mission. Photograph: ISRO

 After MOM blackout, all the instruments are up and started acquiring data as usual. Mars Color Camera, the eye of MOM continue to send beautiful images of Martian terrain.

Region around Comas Sola crater was taken by Mars color camera. Photograph: ISRO
The Rs 450-crore MOM Mangalyaan is the cheapest inter-planetary mission that, at just USD 74 million, cost less than the budget of the sci-fi blockbuster ‘Gravity’ and a tenth of NASA's Mars mission Maven that entered the Martian orbit on September 22.

Part of Hesperia Planum region, taken by Mars color camera. Photograph: ISRO

The ISRO spacecraft was launched on its nine-month-long odyssey on a homegrown PSLV rocket from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on November 5, 2013, and had escaped the earth's gravitational field on December 1.

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