MOM INDIA
Mars Orbiter Mission Spacecraft attached to the 4th stage of PSLV-C25.Isro

India's low cost, 'supersmart' Mars orbiter that just completed 100 days in orbit around the Red Planet carries five payloads and around 40 units held together by a total of 2000 screws.

The screws made of titanium have a low density but high strength to hold together the many vital systems like the telemetry, telecommunications and power units on board the 1350 kg probe.

Each of these is made of smaller units, writes Times of India in a report acknowledging the contribution of the space agency's unsung heroes.

Around 29 technical teams from the Isro Satellite Centre (ISAC) and Laboratory for ElectroOptics Systems (LEOS) worked on MOM.

In what has come as a bonus, fuel saved has helped extend the life of the probe from an envisaged six months to a few years.

Placed in orbit on 24 September, just two days after Nasa's Maven, the wholly indigenous Mars Orbiter Mission probe, put together in a short 15 months and costing just around £45m ($70m), has been taking full disc pictures of the planet and conducting experiments using the five instruments on board.

'Nobody gets Mars right on the first try', said Time magazine, while placing the 'supersmart spacecraft' MOM among the top 25 inventions of the year.

India is the fourth country after the US, Russia and EU to place a satellite in the orbit around Mars.

Designed primarily as a technology demonstration experiment to check the nation's capabilities in space missions, which it has accomplished, the secondary objective was a six-month-long science mission to study the Martian atmosphere and surface mineralogy.

This has now been extended to a few years given that the orbiter has almost 40 kg of fuel left.