Not engaged in space race with China: ISRO
Bangalore: Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman K Radhakrishnan does not believe the November 5 `desi` Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) will fuel a space race with China which has not yet attempted such a venture to the red planet.
Radhakrishnan, Secretary in the Department of Space and Chairman of Space Commission, said each country whether it’s India, the US, Russia or China -- had their own priorities.
"There is no race with anybody. If you look at anybody, they have their own direction. So, I don`t find a place for race with somebody. But I would say we are always on race with ourselves to excel in areas that we have chalked out for ourselves," he told in an interview.
The MOM would be launched onboard PSLV C25 on November 5 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in the spaceport of Sriharikota.
Bangalore-headquartered ISRO, he said, is focused on space application, communication, remote sensing, navigation and space sciences and building satellites for those areas, besides indigenous launch vehicle technology.
If India succeeds in the MOM, it would be the fourth in the world, after the US, Russia and Europe to do so.
"China tried this, not exactly as a Mars mission of their own, they joined Russia and did a Probos-Grunt mission. That was in 2011 which had a problem; it did not leave the earth orbit. So, they (China) have not attempted as of now. But India will be the fourth country if you are able to succeed.
"That we can say in September 2014 (when the MOM spacecraft is planned to be inserted into Mars orbit). Being a complex mission of this nature, any day you advance it`s a progress," Radhakrishnan said.