ISRO Chairman: Indian Mars Mission At Last Stage Of Approval

ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan announced on Saturday that the much-awaited Indian Mars mission is at the last stage of the approval by the government.

AsianScientist (Jul. 16, 2012) – A nearly three-and-a-half ton Indian communication satellite, GSat-10, will be launched in September 2012 by Arianespace’s Ariane-5 rocket, ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan announced on Saturday.

He was speaking to the media on the eve of the 39th scientific assembly of the Committee on Space Research which is being held at the N. R. Narayana Murthy Center of Excellence at the Infosys campus in Mysore.

The satellite, which has a 15-year life span, will soon be dispatched to Kourou.

Radhakrishnan also declared that the much-awaited Indian Mars mission is about to be approved by the government.

“We have come to the last stage of the approval and soon there will be announcement regarding the government’s clearance,” he said.

He told the media that once the green light is received, the mission will be launched from Sriharikota either in November of 2013, 2016, or 2018.

Scientists told Asian Scientist Magazine that nine experiments for this flight had been shortlisted which could be reduced because of the weight factor.

The rocket will be the advanced version of the highly-proven four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), designated as PSLV-XL, which was used for India’s first mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-1.

Astrosat, India’s first dedicated astronomy satellite, will be launched in 2013, the ISRO chief announced. Calling it a national laboratory, he said that all the instruments are going through their final evaluation. According to him scientists both from India and abroad could use the facility.

Regarding the status of the Geo Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark 2, he said that the flight stage of the cryogenic engine should be ready in November 2012. Since India’s second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-2, will be launched by GSLV-Mk2, he said that there will have to be two successful flights of the GSLV powered by the Indian cryogenic engine before the launch of the second Indian lunar mission. Tentatively it is slated for lift off in 2014.

It may be recalled that there were successive failures of the GSLV in 2010 — one in April 2010 because of the Indian cryogenic engine and the second one in December 2010 on account of a technical problem.

Cospar president Giovanni Bignami said that thousands of new planets have been found around stars. “Very soon we will find a new earth which could be habitable,” he told the media.

According to him astronomers are familiar with only four percent of the universe and 96 percent of it has yet to be studied.

“The fact that the conference is being held in India is an acknowledgement of India’s achievement in the space sector. We in Europe have to learn a lot from India. We have to learn from your capacity and vision,” Bignami added.

U. R. Rao, chairman of the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) council and former chairman of ISRO, once again described the recent Chinese space mission, the docking of Shenzhou-9 with the orbiting laboratory, Tiangong-1, as excellent.

Rao said that nearly 2,500 scientists from 74 countries are participating in the conference.

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Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: NASA.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Srinivas is a journalist with a passion for space exploration.

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