India’s ambitious space mission to explore Mars would be launched on November 5 from the spaceport of Sriharikota, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced on Tuesday.
The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), ‘Mangalyan’, would be launched onboard PSLV C25 on November 5 at 2.36 pm from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, an ISRO spokesperson said.
The powerful XL version of the ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) would be used for the Rs. 450 crore mission.
Primary objectives of the mission 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.
Launch campaign has already commenced in Sriharikota from where the 1,350-kg MOM spacecraft is slated to be launched by the PSLV.
The satellite will carry compact science experiment instruments, totalling a mass of 15 kg. There will be five instruments to study Martian surface, atmosphere and mineralogy, ISRO said.
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.