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'Mars beckons space scientists'

india Updated: Oct 01, 2007 03:47 IST
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Indian scientists are showing keen interest in Mars and exploring possibilities of further experiments they could carry out on the red planet, the top space scientist has said.

India's second vision for the space programme includes a greater thrust on planetary exploration and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) could think of manned spaceflights if the scientific community comes up with concrete proposals, ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair said in Hyderabad.

"Right now some groups have been thinking about what we can do about Mars," Nair told PTI in an interview on the sidelines of the 58th International Astronautical Congress that concluded here on Friday.

Asked about manned spaceflights to the International Space Station (ISS), he said the space agency has not received any proposals for research projects on the orbital outpost.

"There is no proposal from the scientific community for any project on the ISS," Nair said.

However, he said scientists have some interest in Mars, Saturn and the asteroids.

"They are already going through all the data that has been published over Mars and trying to see whether we need to do anything beyond that," he said.

On collaboration with other countries for the space programme, Nair said there was "no initiation" of any sort of partnership. "I had meetings with the heads of seven space agencies who attended the Congress but those focused on reviewing the status of the relationship," he said.