India has the capability to embark on a mission to Mars, former chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Madhavan Nair, said on Saturday.
“The feasibility study that we can go close to the object with precision has been established. But the scientific goals have yet to be chalked out and discussions are thrown up to find what are the things we have to explore in Martian atmosphere,” said Nair. “The missions to Mars will soon take shape and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launching Vehicle will be used.”
The Union government, earlier this year, sanctioned Rs 10 crore for the Mars project to carry out studies on experiments to be conducted and route of the mission.
Nair, who was addressing scientists at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, on the last day of the three-day symposium to commemorate Homi Bhabha’s centenary year, said that the country’s first science satellite, ASTROSAT, will be launched next year by the Indian launch vehicle Polar Satellite Launching Vehicle with an expected operating life time of five years.
Chandrayaan-II is slated for launch in 2013. “It is going to be one of our flagship missions.” said Nair. “The design for Chandrayaan-II which includes an orbiter, lander and rover to be used to study the surface of the moon in detail including the moon magma, is ready.”
In the next two years, ISRO will launch ‘Aditya’, to study the properties of the Sun’s coronal mass ejection that billow huge bubbles of electrified gas.
The organisation, in collaboration with France, will also begin Megha-Tropiques Mission in 2010 to study humidity and temperature in tropical climate.