Bangalore: India will launch its maiden mission to Mars November 2013 to study the atmosphere of the red planet from orbit, the space agency chief said Monday.
"We are scheduling to launch the Mars mission Nov 27, 2013 when the red planet will be closer to the earth. We plan to put a spacecraft in an elliptical orbit for studying its atmosphere and detect presence of life on its surface," state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Radhakrishnan told reporters here.
The Indian space agency will use a high-end rocket to launch the Martian spacecraft from its Sriharikota spaceport, about 80 km north-east of Chennai, with five scientific instruments on board to study the various aspects of the red planet.
"The Rs.470-crore mission will make India join the elite club of five nations comprising the US, Russia, Europe, China and Japan, with our own space technology to reach Mars` orbit 300 days after the launch date," Radhakrishnan said.