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Mars mission to boost India's credentials for global missions

tech reviews Updated: Nov 05, 2013 02:38 IST
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Terming India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) as well thought-out and a key milestone, former ISRO Chairman K Kasturirangan on Monday said it would boost New Delhi's credentials to join future collaborative international deep-space missions.

"I think it's a very major, key milestone for ISRO's efforts to push the frontiers of research in space science to the deeper reaches of solar system," he said.

The venture has implications for improved science, technology and risk management, the veteran space scientist said, adding, the credentials could lead to India becoming an active partner in the collaborative framework of international missions.

"If the mission becomes successful, it would certainly put India among a select league of countries who had succeeded in sending a craft to Mars and, in a sense, will address all the problems that ultimately one has to overcome when you take up future deep-space missions not only to the Mars but to other planets of the Solar System", Kasturirangan said.

Primary objectives of the mission, to be launched on Tuesday afternoon, are to demonstrate India's technological capability to send a craft to orbit around Mars and conduct meaningful experiments such as looking for signs of life, take pictures of the Red planet and study Martian environment.

Bangalore-based ISRO said the Rs 150-crore, 1350kg MOM spacecraft would be launched by the Rs 110 crore Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C25) from Sriharikota spaceport, on Tuesday.

The satellite will carry compact science experiments, totalling a mass of 15 kg, five instruments to study Martian surface, atmosphere and mineralogy.

Kasturirangan does not see any limitation vis-a-vis payloads on board the spacecraft, asserting that their successful deployment in the vicinity of any planet on the Solar System has a relevance.

Findings and observations add to new scientific knowledge, he noted.