Saturday, June 23, 2007

ISRO eyes mission to Mars

Bangalore, (IANS) The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is open to launch a mission to Mars if the government gives a green signal, a top official of the space agency said here Wednesday.

“We can undertake a mission to Mars within five years of the government’s approval. If the project is given the go-ahead now, we will be in a position to launch the mission to the red planet by 2012,” ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair told reporters.

Nair, however, hastened to add that the proposal for such a mission was under study by the space agency on the basis of a brief report prepared by the Indian scientific community.

“Our scientific community has come out with an outline of a mission to Mars. If the proposal is interesting, we will pursue it,” Nair said.

Nair’s observation on ISRO’s capability to reach Mars comes in the backdrop of China’s decision to launch a joint mission to the planet with Russia in 2009

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