This news-report writes to say

India’s bid to explore Mars will be a scaled down affair with the space agency flying experimental payload of less than 15 kg as against 25kg planned originally

  • Was the Mars mission really scaled down?
    • Why?
  • What instruments in the original payload did not make it to the scaled down mission?
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think this was decided long time ago and might have something to do with the cryogenic upper stage of ISRO's GSLV that they had problems with, so they opted for PSLV that doesn't have such lifting capacity. $\endgroup$
    – TildalWave
    Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 10:52

1 Answer 1


Originally, MOM was going to use the GSLV to launch. The GSLV has about 50% more capacity than the PSLV. As a result, a few things had to be cut back from the mission, including the payload, removal of a direct to Mars orbit, among others.

  • $\begingroup$ This answers most of the question, but is a bit lacking in the second category - which instruments didn't make it? $\endgroup$
    – user12
    Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for the note on capacity change because of the vehicle. Ditto to @Undo's remark on payload content though )+: $\endgroup$
    – Everyone
    Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 19:29
  • $\begingroup$ I just can't find any information on it. Sigh. Maybe later... $\endgroup$
    – PearsonArtPhoto
    Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 19:50
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @PearsonArtPhoto I don't think you'll find it because the 2006 proposed GSLV mission was planned to have ~ 25 kg scientific payload on a ~ 500 kg orbiter but the scientific instruments were not yet selected, so it would merely be a list of all kinds of possible ones, some talked of perhaps 11-12 of them. The PSLV MOM mission with an under 15 kg scientific payload was approved and funded much later in 2012 after GSLV dual failures of its cryo upper stage in 2010. $\endgroup$
    – TildalWave
    Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 22:55

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