Saturday, September 19, 2009

India Mulls Unmanned Mission To Mars By 2013

Indian space scientists plan to send an unmanned mission to Mars by 2013 to look for evidence of life, a news report said on Sunday. The six-to-eight-month mission, likely to be launched in the next seven years, would cost three billion rupees (67 million dollars), the Hindustan Times reported.

"Mars is emerging on our horizon. The geo-stationary launch vehicle can take a payload to Mars and our Deep Space Network can track it all the way," G. Madhavan Nair, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), told the newspaper.

"There is a lot of interest in Mars. The missions of the United States and the European Space Agency have given us some interesting data. Let us see what value addition our mission can bring," he said.

The mission will study the chemical attributes of the Martian atmosphere and the planet's sub-soil and terrain, ISRO programme director S.C Chakravarthy told the English-language daily.

India plans to send its first unmanned probe to the moon in two or three years' time.

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