India’s MOM Captures First Image of the Red Planet

India’s “history creating” maiden interplanetary voyager, the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has captured her historic first image of the Red Planet.

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), India’s space agency which designed and developed the orbiter released the image today, Sept 25, just a day after MOM successfully arrived at Mars on Sept. 23/24.

Read my complete MOM meets Mars arrival story – here.

The image was taken by the probe’s Mars Colour Camera (MCC), tri color imager, from a height of 7300 kilometers with a spatial resolution of 376 meters and shows a heavily cratered region on the Red Planet.

Following MOM’s successful orbital insertion maneuver, India joined an elite club of only three other entities who have launched probes that successfully investigated Mars – following the Soviet Union, the United States, and the European Space Agency (ESA).

MOM is now circling Mars in a highly elliptical orbit whose nearest point to Mars (periapsis) is at 421.7 km and farthest point (apoapsis) at 76,993.6 km. The inclination of orbit with respect to the equatorial plane of Mars is 150 degrees, as intended, ISRO reports.

By way of comparison, here’s the first image taken by MOM of the Blue Planet, her Home World.

First ever image of Earth Taken by Mars Color Camera aboard India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft while orbiting Earth and before the Trans Mars Insertion firing on Dec. 1, 2013. Image is focused on the Indian subcontinent. Credit: ISRO

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and planetary science and human spaceflight news.

Ken Kremer

Ken Kremer

Dr. Ken Kremer is a speaker, research scientist, freelance science journalist (KSC area,FL) and photographer whose articles, space exploration images and Mars mosaics have appeared in magazines, books, websites and calendars including Astronomy Picture of the Day, NBC, FOX, BBC, SPACE.com, Spaceflight Now, Science and the covers of Aviation Week & Space Technology, Spaceflight and the Explorers Club magazines. Ken has presented at numerous educational institutions, civic & religious organizations, museums and astronomy clubs. Ken has reported first hand from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, NASA Wallops, NASA Michoud/Stennis/Langley and on over 80 launches including 8 shuttle launches. He lectures on both Human and Robotic spaceflight - www.kenkremer.com. Follow Ken on Facebook and Twitter

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