Bangalore: Terming India`s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) as well thought-out and a key milestone, former ISRO Chairman K Kasturirangan Monday said it would boost New Delhi`s credentials to join future collaborative international deep-space missions.
"I think it`s a very major, key milestone for ISRO`s efforts to push the frontiers of research in space science to the deeper reaches of solar system," he said.
The venture has implications for improved science, technology and risk management, the veteran space scientist said, adding, the credentials could lead to India becoming an active partner in the collaborative framework of international missions.
"If the mission becomes successful, it would certainly put India among a select league of countries who had succeeded in sending a craft to Mars and, in a sense, will address all the problems that ultimately one has to overcome when you take up future deep-space missions not only to the Mars but to other planets of the Solar System", Kasturirangan said.
Primary objectives of the mission, to be launched tomorrow afternoon, are to demonstrate India’s technological capability to send a craft to orbit around Mars and conduct meaningful experiments such as looking for signs of life, take pictures of the Red planet and study Martian environment.
Bangalore-based ISRO said the Rs 150-crore, 1350kg MOM spacecraft would be launched by the Rs 110 crore Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C25) from Sriharikota spaceport, tomorrow.
The satellite will carry compact science experiments, totalling a mass of 15 kg ? five instruments to study Martian surface, atmosphere and mineralogy.
Kasturirangan does not see any limitation vis-a-vis payloads on board the spacecraft, asserting that their successful deployment in the vicinity of any planet on the Solar System has a relevance.
Findings and observations add to new scientific knowledge, he noted.
Meanwhile, sources said that ISRO chairman and Department of Space Secretary K Radhakrishnan has personally extended an invitation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to attend the launch.
The launch will be shown live on Doordarshan, with the broadcast available from 2 P.M. Onwards. Arrangements for a Webcast of the launch have also been made.
Yesterday, at 6.08 A.M., ISRO started the 56hr 30min countdown to the launch.
A series of pre-launch preparations were attended to and the propellant filling of PS4 stage was completed. ISRO also completed Mono Methyl Hydrazine filling of Reaction Control Thrusters.
ISRO scientists working in different centres across the country will be present for the launch.