Making the first formal announcement on the country’s Mars mission, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said India will send a mission to the Red Planet that will mark a huge step in the area of science and technology.
“Recently, the Cabinet has approved the Mars Orbiter Mission. Under this Mission, our spaceship will go near Mars and collect important scientific information,” he said addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of the 66th Independence Day.
India will be the sixth country to launch a mission to the Red Planet after the U.S., Russia, Europe, Japan and China.
As per the proposal drawn up by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Rs. 450 crore Mars Orbiter Mission is expected to be launched in November next year with a 25 kg scientific payload.
The spacecraft is expected to take nearly 300 days to reach the Martian orbit.
The spacecraft will be placed in an orbit of 500 x 80,000 km around Mars and has a tentative scientific objective for studying the climate, geology, origin, evolution and sustainability of life on the planet.
Scientific payloads for the Mars Orbiter Mission have been short-listed by ISRO’s Advisory Committee for Space Sciences (ADCOS) review committee.
Ganesh’s IAS team.