India set to launch Mars mission in 2013

August 2, 2012
An Indian Saddhu (holy person) watches the transit of Planet Venus across the sun with protective eyewear in Guwahati on June 6. India plans to launch a mission to Mars next year, putting an orbital probe around the red planet to study its climate and geology, top space department officials said on Thursday.

India plans to launch a mission to Mars next year, putting an orbital probe around the red planet to study its climate and geology, top space department officials said on Thursday.

The mission would mark another step in India's ambitious space programme, which envisages the Asian giant's first manned mission in 2016.

"We will embark on the Mars mission after the Department of Science gives the green signal and decides the schedule early next year," Deviprasad Karnik, director of the state-run Organisation (ISRO) told AFP.

A 320-tonne Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket will be used to carry the orbiter spaceship, blasting off from the ISRO launch site at Sriharikota in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Another senior official at ISRO, requesting anonymity, estimated the cost of the mission at 4.0-5.0 billion rupees ($70-90 million dollars).

The central government earmarked 1.25 billion rupees for the project in the last federal budget.

India began its space programme in 1963 and has developed its own satellites and launch vehicles to cut dependence on overseas agencies.

In September, 2009, India's Chandrayaan-1 satellite discovered water on the moon, boosting the country's credibility among established space-faring nations.

But the space programme suffered a major setback in December 2010 when a satellite blew up and fell into the after veering from its intended flight path.

Explore further: India launches seven satellites: space agency

Related Stories

India launches seven satellites: space agency

September 23, 2009

India successfully launched seven satellites including six from foreign countries on Wednesday, officials said, underlining the country's ambitions in the space business.

India plans manned space mission in 2016

January 27, 2010

India will launch its first manned space mission in 2016 in a bid to match space pioneers such as Russia and the United States, a top official said Wednesday.

Indian rocket flops, crashing into sea

April 15, 2010

An Indian rocket showcasing domestically built booster technology crashed soon after take-off on Thursday in a blow to the country's space ambitions, officials said.

Indian-French satellite put into orbit

October 12, 2011

An Indian-French satellite that will study monsoon patterns and global warming was launched on Wednesday from a space centre in southern India.

Recommended for you

At Saturn, one of these rings is not like the others

September 2, 2015

When the sun set on Saturn's rings in August 2009, scientists on NASA's Cassini mission were watching closely. It was the equinox—one of two times in the Saturnian year when the sun illuminates the planet's enormous ring ...

Prawn Nebula: Cosmic recycling

September 2, 2015

Dominating this image is part of the nebula Gum 56, illuminated by the hot bright young stars that were born within it. For millions of years stars have been created out of the gas in this nebula, material which is later ...

Comet Hitchhiker would take tour of small bodies

September 2, 2015

Catching a ride from one solar system body to another isn't easy. You have to figure out how to land your spacecraft safely and then get it on its way to the next destination. The landing part is especially tricky for asteroids ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.