The geomorphological features on Mars suggests an early warm and wet climate, and perhaps conducive to the emergence of primitive life. Mars is considered to be unique as it has experienced processes similar to that existing on Earth during formation and its evolution. Recent discoveries have revealed that Mars possesses a record of diverse surfaces created as a result of geological processes occurring prior to 3 Ga, and recent volcanism, weathering events during the last few 100 Million years. This complete geological record is yet to be found on Moon or the Earth, and therefore new Mars missions provide an opportunity to address questions regarding planetary evolutionary processes, how and whether life arose elsewhere in the solar system, and the interplay between geological and possible biological history.
Previous orbiter and rover missions to Mars have provided direct evidence for the presence of hydrated minerals on the exposed surface and the presence of water ice at sub-surface regions. Existence of methane has been proposed from a few limited ground based and space based observations, but these are yet to be confirmed unambiguously.
The understanding of the temporal evolution of the Martian atmosphere necessitates new measurements to quantify the loss of atmospheric water and carbon dioxide. Future Mars missions are focusing on in situ surface/subsurface probing by landers and rovers, with orbiters continuing studies of Martian surface and sub-surface and also serving as continued communication link to Earth. An orbiter mission with focused science objectives can provide valuable global Mars science.
The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has successfully demonstrated India’s technological capability for interplanetary exploration. MOM carries five scientific payloads to study the Martian surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian atmosphere. Analysis of MOM data is under progress.
It is now planned to have the next orbiter mission around Mars for a future launch opportunity. Proposals are solicited from interested scientists within India for experiments onboard an orbiter mission around Mars (MOM-2), to address relevant scientific problems and topics.
This “Announcement of Opportunity (AO)” is addressed to all institutions in India currently involved in planetary exploration studies / the development of science instruments for space. This orbiter mission will facilitate scientific community to address the open science problems. The Principal Investigator of the proposal should be (i) able to provide necessary details of the instrument which can address the scientific problems and (ii) capable to bring together the instrument team and lead the team for developing a space qualified instrument.
The payload capability of the proposed satellite is likely to be 100kg and 100W. However final values are to be tuned based on the final configuration. The apoarion of the orbit is expected to be around 5000 km.
Proposal (send the advance copy in doc and pdf versions and the original copy by speed post) is to be submitted through proper channel to
Space Science Programme Office,
ISRO HQ, Antariksh Bhavan,
New BEL Road,
The last date for receiving the proposals through proper channel with the following details (see the format) is on 6th September 2016.