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Updated: August 4, 2012 03:26 IST

Cabinet clears Mars mission

Special Correspondent
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ISRO will be Mars-bound in November 2013.
ISRO will be Mars-bound in November 2013.

Launch slated for November 2013 from Sriharikota

The Union Cabinet on Friday cleared the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) mission to Mars next year.

The project, which comes on the heels of the Chandrayaan mission to the moon, envisages putting a spacecraft in the red planet’s orbit to study its atmosphere, with the help of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

India joins the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and China in undertaking such an effort.

The launch is slated for November next year from Sriharikota. The Space Commission gave its clearance for the mission in December last.

The spacecraft will have a scientific payload of 25 kg and is proposed to be placed in an orbit of 500x80,000 km around the planet.

Why November

Sources in the ISRO said November was chosen, as the planet would be closest to the earth that time.

The next such opportunity will come only in the summer of 2018.

NASA is also said to be working on a Mars mission in November next year.

The mission is estimated to cost about Rs.450 crore. An initial provision of Rs.125 crore was made in this year’s budget to kick-start the work.

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The year 2013 seems full of cheers for indian space enthusiasts as the ISRO is embarking on some ambitious projects.
The january is going to wittnes the launch of GSLV with indigenious cryogenic engine followed by maiden flight of the India's heaviest launch machine GSLV Mark III some time in march. And, the November brings all this excitement to a sheer climax when India launches its first ever Mars Mission towards the red planet and become the third country after USA and Russia to do so.

from:  Karunes Pandey
Posted on: Aug 6, 2012 at 11:38 IST

Those claim that this Mars mission will give India international recognition that is precisely
the point. India is taking it up as a vanity project when there are more urgent priorities even
within ISRO, such as building a functioning GSLV rocket capable of launching heavy
communication satelite that will help save the country money by not depending on foreign
launchers and allowing ISRO to launch satellite for other countries thus earning the country
money. Frankly world pays little attention whether India sent a satellite to Mars when it is
beset with rampant power failure, endemic corruption, lack of sanitation or abysmal roads
and a stagnant economy. South Korea has a much higher stature in world affairs even with a
much less active space program, India doesn't need to launch Mars satellite to earn respect,
it can do so by providing good governance, decent infrastructure and basic necessities for its
people including its own remote sensing and communication satellites.

from:  Jitendra Dutta
Posted on: Aug 6, 2012 at 07:32 IST

.... and all these inter-planetary explorations are planned when 60% of Indians still continue to defecate in the open.
@ Rohith, do these Indians figure in 'your' arithmetic, by any chance?

from:  Murali
Posted on: Aug 5, 2012 at 17:37 IST

Billions of money spent on military and space research leaving millions of people without home and food. The politicians may get their share of commission from the vendors. At the end common man live to die.

from:  amaan
Posted on: Aug 5, 2012 at 14:50 IST

Its good that we are exploring universe even with lesser resources at our disposal, as those who dont develop tend to perish.
But in ISRO along side rockets we should develop technology to take out kids from borewells...

from:  Bhuvaneshwar Sharma
Posted on: Aug 5, 2012 at 10:49 IST

Every task is assigned a priority and alloted a budget. ISRO gets around 7000 Crores per year. And Indian Union's expenditure this fiscal year is around 14 lakh crores. So ISRO Budget is 0.5 % of National Budget. So Space program is indeed the lowest priority for India. Just because the people doing the high prior tasks are incompetent, inefficient and dishonest doesnt mean that all that low prior tasks should be scrapped in order to allocate these peanuts to the high priority taks.

and Please anybody who wants to talk about misplaced priorities of India, do the math first. Because "Those who refuse to do arithmetic are doomed to speak nonsense"

from:  Rohith
Posted on: Aug 5, 2012 at 10:05 IST

Why are we in this race? Are we anywhere in the league of U.S. or China? When basic amenities are lacking for the poor even after decades of independence, aren't these waste of money? I join the many here who demand public toilets, hospitals, schools, irrigation canals, etc rather than using tax payers' money for these grandiose plans.

from:  D. Chandramouli
Posted on: Aug 5, 2012 at 06:23 IST

It is just business guys. Several of people are asking for what is the use of this project. Indeed ISRO is making some profit for in launching satellites. If ISRO can prove its ability to launch satellites to Mars it is more business for ISRO. It would be great if ISRO can accomplish this.

from:  Thiyagarajan
Posted on: Aug 5, 2012 at 03:03 IST

This decision should be applauded. This is all the more relevant because of the rapid acceleration China has made in space technologies in recent years.

As usual over here. we have our share of resident morons (thankfully in a minority) who will moan about "square meals" or "round meals" and "toilet troubles" whenever India attempts to accomplish anything! These people are semi-literate and are unable to see the impact of space technology in Indian life. This is in part, a failure of ISRO that it has not disseminated its accomplishments, and their direct impact on the Indian economy. Until that happens and we educe our semi-literates, we will have such people moaning about meals and toilets.

from:  A. Joseph
Posted on: Aug 5, 2012 at 02:15 IST

450 crores for this project...please compare it with the more than
1,00,000 crore tax exemptions granted every year to the corporate
entities. or the 2G loss of 1,76,000 crores. don't belittle our
scientists. let them get their share of money so that they can use their
skills here in India.

from:  Arun Sudarsan
Posted on: Aug 4, 2012 at 23:37 IST

It is true that scientific expeditions like this take a huge amount of
investment but often they are worth the money since the technologies
developed during such projects often find use in many other scenarios,
which may not seem to be related. However it remains at the discretion
of ISRO that the technologies are developed by Indian engineers and
scientists and not just bought from foreign companies.

from:  Subhash
Posted on: Aug 4, 2012 at 23:18 IST

These space projects are need to be encouraged as these are very
beneficial for our country,its global recognition and its growth....
As written it costs 450 crore,which is a very small amount in comparison
with all the scams coming these days in India.
I think money is to be invested in these things properly.I only this
mission would be corruption free.....

from:  Govind Singh
Posted on: Aug 4, 2012 at 22:29 IST

I have always been supportive of ISRO endeavors including its Chandrayan project. But this Mars project is a misplaced priority gone too far. When India cannot provide the basic necessities of life to its majority people, its infrastructure is in utter shambles and barely after a couple of massive power grid failure due to abysmal power situation in the country India now embarks on a Mars mission that is largely futile. It is nothing more than to garner some bragging rights when the very countries of the west or China that India hopes to brag to laugh at India's all-round failure in human development index or its infrastructure. This is an embarrassment for the country.

from:  Jitendra Dutta
Posted on: Aug 4, 2012 at 22:28 IST

People are questioning the money spent for this Project. Do others
have any idea pf the Ad sponsorship money for the cricket series
underway now? After all it is Ad only. The product is not going to
improve because Dhoni or Tendulkar is sponsoring it, is it not? But
still people will not question that but carp about money spent on
scientific projects. This Project cost I am sure is lower than the
Ad money. How many people know that the material for Jaipur foot
which is helping amputees is the spin off from the research carried
out for light weight materials for space applications? You need not
support the project, but at least stop cribbing about it. No wonder
scientists and astronauts have to go out of INdia to go to space
(Kalpana chawla) or get Nobel (Venky Ramakrishnan).

from:  Balaji
Posted on: Aug 4, 2012 at 21:24 IST

Wishing all the very best for the ISRO team!

from:  Gayathri
Posted on: Aug 4, 2012 at 18:48 IST

Some people have commented that the Mars project is very costly and should not be undertaken since there are millions of poor people in the country. Look at this from a different angle.

If we have to stop all scientific projects till every person in India is above the poverty level, then we would have to wait a long time. Even if all the money spent on this project is given to the poor, would poverty disappear? Do you think that there are no poor people in America. You would be surprised. There are millions below the poverty line there also.

The project will give the opportunity for young scientists to use their talents. If there are no opportunities for them to use their talents within the country they will go abroad as happened before. Besides creating jobs for scores of scientists, the technologies developed in the process will have uses in other areas. The spin off benefits are huge and that is the US etc are having space projects. India's image in the world will also rise.

from:  krishna
Posted on: Aug 4, 2012 at 18:14 IST

Good Start !! .

At least something is happening good. Until we will develop our indigenous technologies, and leave the burden of having dependence on foreign technologies, India will always be poor.

Such, act of scientific endeavor should always be encouraged, Good luck ISRO.. India owe you a lot.....

One day, these kind of Indigenous technology will help us make this India a super developed country...

from:  aditya nahar
Posted on: Aug 4, 2012 at 16:24 IST

What is the benefit for space projects? Only waste of money

from:  Indian
Posted on: Aug 4, 2012 at 16:13 IST

Why spending money hugely for space programme when people are living below the poverty line. Spend all money for the welfare of the people by arranging good hospitals, schools, roads, Good water & drainage system, transport system food distribution system. Space programme is not going to help the common man. State is a welfare state and it should focuss on welfare only. Why postponing lokpal bill. Standing committee should sit late nights and clear the bill to create and develop corruption free India.

from:  VUMR
Posted on: Aug 4, 2012 at 15:23 IST

What is use of this project? How much money your spending, people not able earn money for eating food for three time per day. If government having that much huge money why they are not able to stop hunger deaths, after 60 years freedom, why our country is still developing country. If ISRO wants do something for people do it, not using people money for day dream projects.

from:  satish
Posted on: Aug 4, 2012 at 14:25 IST

It is a classic case of distorted priorities for poor nation like India.
We do not water for many citizens and we are exploring water on Mars! Is
it not shameful???

from:  Prashant
Posted on: Aug 4, 2012 at 13:25 IST

Indian Mars missions appears to be a fig-leaf to cover the
embarrassing inability of launching Chandrayaan-2 which has been
approved much earlier but needs GSLV for launch and a soft lander
which are the big bottle-necks. Both ISRO and Government of India need
some face saving formula which can serve as excellent propaganda
mechanism for 2014 election year. The mars orbiter could be a very
good disguise because it will take at least 250 to 300 days to reach
mars orbit by which time elections will be over and ISRO can obfuscate
during the intervening period. Again a spacecraft in 500x 80000km
orbit will spend most of time of orbit period at a distance much
farther than 500 km with very distant vision for geology and
atmospheric observations. Good luck to ISRO

from:  shailu
Posted on: Aug 4, 2012 at 13:18 IST

Best of luck

from:  Arvind Kumar
Posted on: Aug 4, 2012 at 12:58 IST

It is all a case of misplaced priorities. Our country is not rich and developed like the US. In India there
are millions who go to bed daily without having a meal for the entire day, more than half the population
is not having a toilet and drinking water. In what way does these ventures help in ameliorating the
poor. What is the need for all this instead of resolving the more pressing issues .

from:  Sunsevvur
Posted on: Aug 4, 2012 at 11:53 IST
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