The historic mission has completed six months of orbiting the Red Planet.India created history by becoming the first country to enter Mars orbit in maiden attempt on September 24, 2014 after a nine-month voyage through the inter-planetary space from Earth.Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present on the occasion at the Indian space agency's Mars Orbiter Mission centre in this tech hub.India also became the first Asian country to have entered the Mars sphere of influence (gravity) in maiden attempt, as a similar mission by China failed to succeed in 2011.

The Rs.450-crore ($70 million) ambitious Mars mission was launched on November 5, 2013 on board a polar rocket from spaceport Sriharikota off Bay of Bengal, about 80 km of Chennai."The five scientific instruments onboard the spacecraft (Orbiter) will continue to collect data and relay it to our deep space network centre here for analysis," state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) director Devi Prasad Karnik said.

Of the five payloads (instruments) onboard, the Mars Colour Camera (MCC) has been the most active, taking several stunning images of the red planet's surface and its surroundings, including valleys, mountains, craters, clouds and dust storms."The camera has beamed to us several breathtaking pictures of the Martian surface and its weather patterns such as dust storms. We have uploaded many pictures on our website ( and our Facebook account for viewing," Karnik said.

The other four instruments have been conducting experiments to study the Martian surface, its rich mineral composition and scan its atmosphere for methane gas to know if it can support life.The four instruments are Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM), Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP), Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA) and Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS).MSM measures the natural gas in the Martian atmosphere with PPB (particles per billion) accuracy and map its sources.

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