New Delhi: India`s space programme is inching closer to the realisation of its plans for inter-planetary missions, a senior official said Monday.
"A mission to Mars, for several reasons, has become a priority for us. We are trying to actualise the ideas as soon as possible. Deep space missions have their own challenges. Gravitational forces from different planets, x-rays from sun and various other hazards have to be carefully monitored before the mission, besides a study of Martian surface," Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Radhakrishnan said.
Speaking at the silver jubilee celebrations of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Radhakrishnan touched on future missions of ISRO, including ASTROSAT - India`s first dedicated multi-wavelength astronomy satellite, Chandrayan 2, the sequel to lunar mission Chandrayan 1, and a possible human-spaceflight.
"Chandrayaan 1 was cornerstone of deep space exploration in India. Chandrayan 2 will mainly consist of a lander, which is being developed by Russia, and a rover, which is currently being fabricated in Indian laboratories," he said.
Since its inception around five decades ago, ISRO has accomplished 31 launch vehicle missions, built 55 Indian satellites and fabricated 2 satellites for foreign customers, said Radhakrishnan.