Indian Mars mission: Union Cabinet to give NOC today
Aug 2, New Delhi: India has decided to make another ambitious space effort by sending an orbiter to Mars in November 2013. India will be the sixth space power to undertake such an effort after the US, Russia, Europe, Japan and China, whose maiden attempt last year was unsuccessful.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is learnt to have approved the Rs 450 crore-mission. Union Cabinet is likely to clear the project on Thursday seen as the first step towards exploring the Red planet.
The proposed project schedule says that the space agency plans to launch a Mars Orbiter as early as November next year from Sriharikota. The DoS has indicated to the government that the orbiter will enter Mars’s orbit by September 2014, making it an approximately 300-day voyage. India plans to launch its orbiter on its own Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-XL).
“The project which is estimated to cost around Rs 450 crore will involve huge manpower of around 185 scientists, engineers and technicians,” the official said, adding that the mission will establish India’s global technological capabilities.
Indian Space Research Organization ( Isro)’s Mars project got a big boost when it received a budgetary allocation of Rs 125 crore for its launch in the current fiscal.
Sources said, the mission cleared by the Space Commission last December entails sending a 25 kg payload onboard the satellite that will orbit the red planet to carry out experiments to learn more about the surface and atmosphere of Earth’s closest planet in the solar system.
A team of 185 scientists from different units of the Indian Space Research Organisation will collaborate for this ambitious project. The Indian Mars orbiter, the DoS has said, is “derived from the Chandrayaan heritage” and takes into account the lessons learnt from that project.
Besides, two ship-borne transportable terminals will be deployed in the Pacific Ocean during the launch phase of the flight. The project will necessitate augmenting the existing Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) to meet the telemetry requirements of this mission.
In November, last year, China made her attempt to launch the satellite Yinghuo-1 using a Russian rocket from Baikonur in Kazakhstan but its engines failed to provide the momentum to escape earth’s gravity. The satellite and the craft remained locked in earth’s orbit before crashing into the Pacific Ocean in January this year.
For India So far, there have been 42 unmanned missions attempted to Mars, of which 21 have failed in the launch phase itself. However, the DoS has claimed that an Indian initiative will “demonstrate our technological capability to reach Martian orbit” and it would bring “strategic advantage” to India in the international decision-making process on matters related to Mars.
News Gathered by India News
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