Now, ISRO looks to Mars



“A Mars mission is very much on our agenda, and we will be charting out our plans soon,” ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair said on Monday, hinting at a 2013-2015 schedule for the far more ambitious space programme.

Speaking to journalists at an international conference on planetary missions in Goa, Nair said the potential for creating a living environment on Mars had always intrigued scientists. “We would like to study these things,” he said. The Mars programme would be taken up after the second lunar mission.

Powering spacecraft on missions further from the sun was the biggest challenge to space exploration in the future, Nair said, adding that India had pioneered the concept of low-cost planetary missions because of its innovative approach to design and testing.

The country’s low wage structure also helped reduce costs in contrast to missions undertaken by advanced nations, Nair added.

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