Friday, 18 May 2012

The Indian Mars Mission to search for life on the red planet

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Is there life on Mars, the red planet and Roman
god of war? This question has been haunting the human mind ever since
the planet was discovered. And now the Indian Space Research
Organisation plans to explore the terrain of Mars to find out if
anything is living and moving there.

The Indian Mars Mission will become a reality next year. Isro plans to
take up the Mars Mission during 2013, which will focus on life,
climate and geology of the red planet. It will also conduct research
on the origin, evolution and sustainability of life on Mars. The
Mission Mars precedes the second phase of the Moon Mission,
Chandrayaan-2.

According to the latest annual report of ISRO, the space body has
submitted the proposal for Mission Mars to the Central government for
approval. Isro has already shot listed the scientific payloads that
could be sent to Mars to unravel the secrets hidden there. Mars has
always been considered a good planet. The Mangal graha, as Mars is
known in Sanskrit, plays a crucial role in Indian astrology and
astronomy.

“The baseline date for reflector configuration of the satellite has
been finalised. Frequency filing for communication subsystem is under
progress,” the report pointed out.
Isro also plans three earth observation satellites, three
communication and navigation satellites and six launch vehicles during
2012-13.

After decommissioning of INSAT-2E in November 2011, ISRO is currently
having a constellation of eight communication satellites, two
meteorological satellites, 10 earth observation satellites and one
science satellite.

Referring to communication satellite programme for the current
financial year, the ISRO report said the S200 solid booster for GSLV
Mark III, the heaviest built so far by the ISRO, has undergone static
test successfully. The 110-ton liquid core stage of GSLV Mark III has
also been successfully static tested for the full flight duration.

Activities for the launch of PSLV-C19 carrying the first Indian
microwave Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT-1) are in advanced stage.
RISAT-1, using an active radar sensor system, called C-band Synthetic
Aperture Radar imager, is an important microwave complement to its
optical IRS series of observation missions.

Research and development activities in semi-cryogenic propulsion
engine, air breathing propulsion and re-usable launch vehicle
technology are also being pursued vigorously in an effort towards
reducing the cost of access to space. Development of critical
technologies for undertaking human spaceflight has also made progress.

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