New Delhi, Sep 8 – India is working hard to launch its first unmanned mission to Mars to study the atmosphere of the planet and search for elements to find out whether there is life on its surface.
The probe will travel 299 days to reach the so-called red planet in September 2014, said the president of the Governmental Council of the Physics Research Laboratory, U. R. Rao, quoted by the Press Trust of India (PTI) on Saturday.
The 1.4-ton spacecraft will carry five sophisticated research instruments, and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will use a
PSLV-XL carrier rocket that has proved to be highly effective in previous missions.
We are planning very good experiments, one of which consists of searching for methane, determine its origin and how it is produced in Mar´s atmosphere, Rao said.
He commented that Mars has a huge relevance, because in some 500 years, we could be able to use it as a resource for the Earth.
Among the great challenges of the world space program he mentioned food security, energy and the environment, transportation, research for life, and exploration and colonization of the planets close to the Earth.
After launching the probe to Mars from the ISRO space port on the southern island of Sriharikota, India will become the sixth country in the world to undertake such a mission after the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and China.
Although it began its space voyages in 1975 by launching the Aryabhatta
rocket using a Russian-made carrier, India has already carried out more than 100 missions to outer space.
Source: Prensa Latina