India’s proposed Mars mission in November next year would boost its credentials to take part in possible international collaborative ventures on exploring the Red Planet.
“Besides doing it on its own, ISRO will obviously be roped in an international team, including the United States, Europe and other countries (in possible international missions to Mars in future)”, former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K Kasturirangan, told a news agency here.
“And so we will have our own credentials to participate effectively in those (possible international) missions (in future)”, he said, adding, ISRO’s Mars mission next year would qualify the space agency for future missions of international character.
He said several countries would mount several programmes which ultimately make very effective means of exploring Mars in synergy. “If you want to do that, you need several of these elements out of which ISRO’s search through its own spacecraft will be one of those elements”.
Kasturirangan said Mars missions by different countries are trying to look at areas for landing, search for life, Martian composition and surface dynamics and other kinds of indicators.
“So you need quite a lot (of explorations). Ultimately, we are in-situ not there (on Mars). You need explorations before taking decisions”, he added.
According to ISRO officials, the cost of the Mars orbiter mission is Rs 450 crore. The venture’s main objective is to demonstrate India’s technological capability to reach Martian orbit and it would pave the way for future scientific exploratory missions.
The Mars orbiter is planned for launch using India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-XL) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.