India Set to launch March mission by 2013
Meanwhile when US is waiting for its Mars Curiosity Rover to land on Mars on 5th August, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has confirmed that it plans to send an orbiter to Mars in 2013. It would be another step forward for Indian space programs which have made giant leaps during the recent years including multiple satellite launch missions.
A source told AFP that the project will cost somewhere between $70 and $90 million which would go toward a 320 ton rocket carrying the orbiter. The orbiter would study the red planet’s climate and geology. But this is not enough, ISRO is planning to launch a fully manned mission by 2016.
India has been launching space programs since 1960s but gained popularity during recent years. In the year 2009, India successfully landed seven satellites on a single rocket providing cost efficient means of transporting satellites into space. Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe attracted global attention. ISRO may have lost radio contact with the probe after ten months but it was a major success as it discovered water and a protective magnetic field on the moon.
The mission to Mars is a big step forward by India and is expected to be a big success.