India’s efforts to send a spacecraft to Mars will take a huge leap by the end of March, when the payloads are expected to be finalised and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is looking at November, 2013 for the launch of the satellite. Addressing media persons, ISRO Chairperson Dr K Radhakrishnan said: “The Mars mission is progressing well and the payloads will be received by March end for integration.” The Rs 121-crore Mars project, which had got the thumbs up in the 2012-13 Budget, envisages launching a space probe using the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) by November 2013. It will be placed in an elliptical orbit, the nearest point of which from Mars’ surface will be 500 km and the farthest point will be 80,000 km.“We require the PSLV C25 for the launch. Sub-systems are currently being tested at the satellite centre here. By September, we shall have the satellite ready. Also ground station augmentations are being made,” Dr Radhakrishnan said, adding that ISRO was aiming for a November 27 target for the satellite to leave earth’s orbit. Speaking about the indigenous cryogenic engine for GSLV D5 MK III, he said work was progressing parallelly and the launch was slated for June. “We are planning to move the engine to Sriharikota by April end and will carry out high vacuum testing by the end of this month. Then, maybe, one more test is required. Once the flight stage is in Sriharikota, it is a question of preparing for the launch,” Dr Radhakrishnan said. He said that the first satellite of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) constellation – IRNSS-1 – will be launched in June by PSLV-C22.The IRNSS, officials said, is an independent regional navigation satellite system, designed to provide position accuracy of better than 10 metre over India and the region extending about 1,500 km around the country. It is designed to provide accurate real time position, navigation and time (PNT) services to users on a variety of platforms, with 24×7 service availability under all weather conditions.
Source: Deccan Herald