Isro and NASA planning on a Mars Joint Working Group

  • Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 19, 2014 08:19 IST

Scientists of Indian Space Research Organisation and NASA are working on a mechanism to collaborate on building a Mars Joint Working Group.

"Yes we have both worked together. There is no concrete plan and it is still in an infant stage, but we are definitely looking on how to evolve a mechanism for collaborating on a Mars Joint Working Group," a senior Isro official said.

James Green Director, Planetary Science Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA was last week quoted as said. "NASA and ISRO are talking about setting up a Joint Mars Working Group, under the auspices of the State Department's US-India Civil Space Joint Working Group, that would coordinate our two agencies' plans for studying one of the Earth's nearest neighbours."

NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft will enter Mars on September 21, three days before India's Mangalyaan enters the Red Planet. MAVEN is the first spacecraft dedicated to exploring the upper atmosphere of Mars. The mission's goal is to determine how the loss of atmospheric gas to space played a role in changing the Martian climate through time.

Meanwhile Isro scientists on Tuesday completed the verifications and the re-verifications of the commands that have been uploaded on the spacecraft. Nearly 700 commands were uploaded from two days since Sunday. The commands in the form of codes were later verified and re-verified.

M Annadurai, programme director, Isro told HT: " The verification of the commands have been completed and all have been found to be in order. Now we are all gearing for September 22, when we will be firing the LAM. Till then we will continue our regular monitoring work."

Mangalyaan will enter Mars on September 24 but before that the scientists have to perform a crucial test on September 22. which will determine the way forward.

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