India to launch Mars mission in 2013: official

September 17, 2012
Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), K. Radhakrishnan displays a brochure highlighting ISRO's 100th mission as Additional Seceratary, depatment of space programs, S. Srinivasan looks during a press conference held at the ISRO facility in Bangalore. India plans to launch a space probe that will orbit Mars in November 2013.

India plans to launch a space probe that will orbit Mars in November 2013, a senior official from the country's space research establishment said on Monday.

"We are scheduling to launch the Mars mission November 27, 2013 when the red planet will be closer to the earth," K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of Organisation (ISRO) told reporters in Bangalore.

"We plan to put a spacecraft in an elliptical orbit for studying its atmosphere and detect presence of life on its surface," he said in the southern Indian city, where ISRO is headquartered.

The project would mark another step in India's ambitious space programme, which placed a probe on the moon three years ago and envisages its first manned mission in 2016.

According to Radhakrishnan, the unmanned mission could cost nearly five billion rupees ($90 million).

India has a well-established space programme, which is a source of strong national pride, but it has also attracted criticism as the government struggles to tackle dire poverty and .

In September 2009, India's Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe discovered water on the moon, boosting the country's credibility among more experienced space-faring nations.

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

The United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and China have all sent missions to Mars.

The US robot Curiosity is currently on the surface of the "Red Planet" after landing on Mars more than a month ago.

It is a nuclear-powered vehicle that is designed for a two-year mission, though scientists hope it will last at least twice that long.

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The Singularity
1 / 5 (1) Sep 17, 2012
A country poorer than Uzbekistan sending a probe to Mars!!?!.
Your leaders need to be rounded up & thrown in the nut house. (& then charged for crimes against humanity) How do these people sleep at night?. Absolutely certifiable.
5 / 5 (1) Sep 18, 2012
@the singularity

India is not poorer than Uzbekistan.What our leaders do is a secondary issue but neither the mars mission or the money invested in it is a waste.
not rated yet Sep 18, 2012
@ The Singularity:

I think an outsider can offer advice or opinion, but not intrusive proclamation ("your leaders need"). India is a leading technological nation, it is a democracy so don't harm themselves or others easily, and national projects are useful not only for the politicians involved but for the electorate that choose them.

What do you think most motivated the Apollo project but national pride? And it was immensely rewarding on an economical level. If you can afford space, it is a surefire high return investment. (See eg NASAs analyses on that.)

I'm very happy for India, and the rest of us, for making such bold investments in science and space.

Also for seeing new sources of radioactive isotopes needed for some missions. Maybe US and ESA can buy from there, if there is a future need? At least US is otherwise passing into oblivion on that technology's resources. _That_ is a waste.

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