India’s Mars Orbiter ‘Mangalyaan’ captures largest Canyon in the Solar System
The basic idea of Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) ultra-cost effective Mars Orbiter Mission, which costed INR 450 Crore (US$73 million) was to test navigation, orbit maneuverability, and other significant parameters for future space missions. But the exciting Mars Orbiter dubbed Mangalyaan (Mars-craft in Sanskrit), launched in November 2013, has been sending back home numerous thermal images of Mars – including the most recent 3D images of the Ophir Chasma, one of the most prominent canyons on the Red Planet.
For the record, ISRO reports, ‘Ophir Chasma is part of the largest canyon system in the solar system known as Valles Marineris,’ which measures roughly 5000km long. These images were captured by Indian Mars Orbiter on July 19, 2015 at an altitude of 1857 km. The pictures show Ophir Chasma wall are made of many layers and its floors contain large deposits of layered materials.
ISRO has revealed 3D renderings of the canyon to show what the world’s cheapest, experimental Mars Orbiter has managed to capture from the planet most scientists are studying to find signs of life.