Zee Media Bureau
Bangalore: After the success of the recent Mars Orbit Mission (MOM), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to revisit the Red Planet in 2018 with a heavier satellite which will carry a lander and a rover.
The Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) Satellite Centre Director S Shiva Kumar said the space agency is planning to launch a second Mars mission in 2018, to conduct more experiments for which they have to develop new technologies.
In September 24, the state-run space agency successfully inserted its spacecraft(MOM) in the Martian orbit with five scientific instruments to search for life-sustaining elements on the planet over nine months after it was launched November 5, 2013 from its spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 90 km northeast of Chennai.
“We will be able to take the Mars-2 mission after launching the second mission to the moon (Chandrayaan-2) in 2016 with our own lander and rover, which will help us develop a separate lander and rover for the red planet,” Kumar said, ahead of a three-day ‘Engineers Conclave-2014’ by the space agency with the Indian National Academy of Engineering here.
The space agency is looking for a slot in 2018 as the mission to Mars can be launched only after two years. They also hope to have a heavy rocket - fully operational to carry a lander and rover with scientific experiments as additional payloads by then.
“We hope to have fully operational heavy rockets over the next two-three years for carrying communication satellites weighting two-three tonnes into the geo-stationary orbits around the earth,” Kumar said.
The space agency has developed the geo-synchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV-Mark I-III) with indigenous cryogenic engine to launch satellites weighing more than two tonnes and three tonnes into the geo-orbit at 36,000km above Earth.
(With Agency inputs)