India set for mission Mars

Budget proposes Rs 125 crore for the ambitious project

By Dinsa Sachan
Published: Friday 16 March 2012

The flop show of Chandrayaan-1 has not brought down India’s space-conquering spirit. The government has allocated Rs 125 crore to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for an ambitious Mars Orbiter Mission.

When asked when this mission will be launched, Satish S, ISRO press officer, says the organisation is eyeing a November 2013 launch. Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which is India’s oldest space launch vehicle, will be used to fire the mission into space.

ISRO’s overall budget allocations this year is Rs 5,615 crore, which also includes Rs 82.5 crore grant for the lunar missions, Chandrayaan I and II.

Satish, however, adds that the Mars project is yet to be approved by the Cabinet.

While there has been speculation of an unmanned mission of ISRO to Mars, this is its first official recognition.

If materialised the project would propel India into the elite league of countries or group of countries like the US, Russia and Europe, which have sent their missions to Mars.

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