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Space scientist confident of Mangalyaan’s success

The space scientist calls for studying the Sun

Despite a high failure rate of Mars missions worldwide, prominent space scientist U.R. Rao on Tuesday expressed the hope that India’s maiden journey to the red planet would be a success.

India launched the Mars Orbiter Mission, informally called ‘Mangalyaan’, in November 2013. Making a 540-million km journey, the spacecraft is expected to hit Mars on September 24.

“More than 30 per cent of Mars missions failed in the beginning, but we have undertaken this for the first time and we will succeed. On September 24, we will go to Mars,” said Prof. Rao, chairman, Council of Management, Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an award function organised by the PRL, a unit of the Department of Space, Government of India, Prof. Rao said “we would be able to colonise Mars in less than 1,000 years.”

He said Indian scientists were also working on L1 mission to study the Sun. The L1 point of the Earth-Sun system gives an uninterrupted view of the Sun. While the project was still in a nascent stage, he was hopeful that it would soon receive government approval. Prof. Rao underscored the need to study the Sun in the light of acute lack of knowledge about it.

“I am surprised no scientific person is working on the solar corona. We know so little about the Sun. The ignorance is amazing. Papers are being written but we cannot make head or tail of them. Today we have the technological ability to do it. Why are scientific people not doing it? If you have to do great science, you have to have an adventurous attitude,” he told the scientific community at PRL.

At the function, Dr. Tarun Kumar Pant, Joji J Chaman, Prof. Souvik Mahapatra, Prof. Ranjan Bose, Dr. N.V. Chalapathi Rao and Dr. J.S. Ray were awarded for their research contributions.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 9:39:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ur-rao-confident-of-mangalyaans-success/article6309739.ece

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