India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) primary objectives are to demonstrate India’s technological capability to send a satellite to orbit around Mars and conduct meaningful experiments such as looking for signs of life, take pictures of the red planet and study Martian environment.
The former director or the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Dr Rao, who is also involved in this mission, said that it costs only Rs 450 crore for this ambitious venture, where as other countries need to spend three to four times more.
The launch campaign has already commenced at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, about 90 km from Chennai, from where the 1,350-kg MOM spacecraft is slated to be launched by the Rs110 crore Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The first stage of the PSLV-C25 with strap-ons has already been assembled, with the rocket ready for satellite integration by October 10.
The satellite will carry compact science experiment instruments, totaling a mass of 15 kg. There will be five instruments to study the Martian surface, atmosphere and mineralogy. After leaving the earth’s orbit, the spacecraft will cruise in deep space for about ten months using its own propulsion system and will reach Martian transfer trajectory in September 2014. The spacecraft subsequently is planned to enter into a 372 km by 80,000 km elliptical orbit around Mars.
Recalling that India’s Chadrayaan-I had for the first time identified water source on Moon, he said now scientists are preparing fpr Chandrayaan-II experiment. He deplored that science and technology is not getting suitable priority from the Government of India.
Dr Rao said proudly that India is second to none in advanced technology. When we developed remote sense technology, India is 10 years ahead of China. However, now China is far away of us. It was due to lack of necessary support from the government. Even today as many as 18 coutnries are using data provided by our monsoon satellite. But, he said unfortunately we are unable to make use this date it maximum level.
Deploring that green revolution led to spoil of soil fertility, he said we need to make use of our technology to improve soil fertility and productivity in agriculture to ensure ever green revolution. He ruled out the possibility of solar energy fulfill our energy needs as it remains to be very expensive one. As hydal energy is also having its own limitations, he felt comparitavely nuclear energy proves to be cost benefit.