More reports on: Space missions

Isro's second Mars mission planned for 2018

01 November 2014

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is getting set for a second Mars mission sometime in 2018, possibly on a mission to land a rover to conduct more searches on the Red Planet.

"We plan to launch a second mission to Mars in 2018, probably with a lander and rover, to conduct more experiments for which we have to develop new technologies," ISRO satellite centre director S Shiva Kumar told reporters in Bangalore.

Coming just a month after completion of Isro's success with its Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) or Mangalyaan, the announcement of the next launch of its Mars mission three years from now would give another boost to the Indian space enthusiasts.

Isro has said that it is going to introduce the next mars mission in the year 2017. Earlier Isro scientists had said that they are going to try and increase the life of the Mars Orbiter Mission.

From the launch of the Mangalyaan to its entry into the orbit was a complete success. And only last week Indian scientists were able to successfully reposition the MOM when it was under serious threat.

The state-run space agency successfully inserted its spacecraft (MOM) Sep 24 in the Martian orbit with five scientific instruments to search for life-sustaining elements on the planet over nine months after it was launched 5 November 2013 from its spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

''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'', Shiv Kumar said.

As missions to Mars can be launched only at an interval of two years, the space agency is looking for a slot in 2018 and by which it hopes to have a heavy rocket fully operational to carry a lander and rover with scientific experiments as additional payloads.

''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.

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