ISRO Scientists Discuss Mars, Venus Plans At Cospar 2012
ISRO scientists are working hard to launch a mission to Mars, and contemplating its plans for Venus.
AsianScientist (Jul. 23, 2012) – The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has been bitten by the Red Planet bug!
Scientists at the space agency are working hard to launch a mission to Mars. What better proof of this fact than the fact that ISRO is not waiting for the much-awaited formal approval from the government to start designing the science instruments for this mission?
Engineering models of two of the payloads are ready, and tests are in full progress.
Rajmal Jain of the Ahmedabad-based Physical Research Laboratory, (PRL) an affiliate of ISRO, told Asian Scientist Magazine on Friday that the mechanical structure of the Plasma and Current Pace Experiment (Pace) instrument weighing 2.99 grams is now ready.
The instrument will study the Martian atmosphere and has undergone vibration and other tests at the Space Application Center (SAC) in Ahmedabad. The payload was a joint developed by SAC and PRL.
He said that the work on the flight model will begin soon.
Kurian Mathew of SAC said work was in progress on a payload called the Miniature Electro-Optic Sensor weighing three kilograms, which has a Mars color camera.
“The engineering model is ready, but we are doing some more tests,” he said.
He explained that the total weight of all the Mars-bound payloads was 10.5 kg necessitating the removal of some of the instruments.
If the mission gets approved then it will be launched from Sriharikota in November 2013. The rocket will be the advanced version of the four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) known as PSLV-XL which was used for the Chandrayaan-1 mission to the moon.
In a session on Venus, Sanjay Limaye of the University of Wisconsin, said “We hope ISRO looks to Venus as a possible target.”
Limaye, who has been involved with the Venus mission said that “international co-ordination and collaboration is essential for a systematic exploration of Venus 2018 and beyond.”
“Finding an answer to questions about Venus that are relevant for earth will require us all to work together. Participate and contribute,” he told the international community of space scientists.
Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: NASA.
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