Just as the scientific community is curious about ISRO’s Mars spacecraft that is set to start its 10-month journey on November 26, its scale model, displayed in Bangalore for the first time at Aero India 2013, has been attracting many visitors, mostly from foreign delegations.

The model was displayed previously at the recent Indian Science Congress in Kolkata.

The 500-kg spacecraft developed under Mars Orbiter Mission will cruise in space and scientists will undertake the Mars orbit insertion on September 22, 2014. Five instruments would be loaded on the spacecraft that would look at the Martian surface, atmosphere and mineralogy. A methane sensor on board will check whether the methane is due to biological activity or not.

Several pilots, aviation experts and scientists have made enquiries about Mars spacecraft and its proposed functions, ISRO sources said.

Apart from the Mars spacecraft, the ISRO has also displayed the scale model of Saral, which is set to be launched in the 23rd launch of PSLV C20 by the end of the month from Sriharikota. The PSLV will be carrying six more satellites besides Saral, which is being launched for oceanographic studies.

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