With a series of ground tests already over, Isro was planning to launch its ambitious GSLV space mission with indigenously built cryogenic engine early next year, a top official said on Thursday.
Isro chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan said that two major ground tests remained before integrating the GSLV vehicle for launch.
"A lot of ground tests have already been conducted and we need to do two major ground tests this year, scheduled from September to November. Once the tests are successful the cryogenic stage will be integrated into the GSLV vehicle for launch", he told reporters at the sidelines of a convocation in Chennai.
The previous two GSLV launches by the premier space agency were unsuccessful.
On India’s Mars mission, he said Isro was working to meet the November 2013 launch target. The Union cabinet had recently okayed the space agency’s proposal to send a mission to the red planet.
Earlier in his address, Radhakrishnan said Isro’s budget was only 0.34% of Central government expenditure even as he noted "we are one of the six space agencies in the world having capability to build and launch satellites from our own soil."