India plans to launch a mission to Mars next year, putting an orbital probe around the red planet to study its climate and geology, top space department officials said. The mission would mark another step in India’s ambitious space programme, which envisages New Delhi’s first manned mission in 2016. We will embark on the Mars mission after the department of science gives the green signal and decides the schedule early next year, Mr Deviprasad Karnik, Director of the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation told AFP. A 320-tonne Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket will be used to carry the orbiter spaceship, blasting off from the ISRO launch site at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. Another senior official at ISRO, requesting anonymity, estimated the cost of the mission at.4,000-5,000 crore. The central government earmarked 125 crore for the project in the last budget.
Source: Economic Times