India plans future space missions

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | Shillong | Updated: Jan 4 2009, 02:21am hrs
India has planned its future space mission systematically in phases up to the year 2025 with the proposed next unmanned mission to Moon in 2012 to be followed by a similar mission to Mars in 2013 and would sent a man on a space voyage in 2015.

The Chairman of Indian Space Organisation (ISRO), G Madhavan Nair speaking at the 96th Indian Science Congress said that the unmanned Chandrayan-I mission sent to moon on October 22, 2008 had generated enormous data for the global scientific community.

These data would be reviewed in January 2009. The satellite took images of the moon's surface close to a distance of 4 km and captured 35,000 images. Moon impact probe was conducted in November 14, 2008 and the wealth of data generated through the mission would be reviewed in January, 2009.

Though no traces of water, ice or oxygen was found, there were places were traces of iron was detected, he said and added that next mission to moon would pick up more materials and process more data.

Nair said finest of the instruments were deployed in taking the imagery, five of which were indigenous and five other sourced from other countries. Peaks of 2 km height was noticed on moon's surface. He admitted that India's moon mission could be successful due to global cooperation.

He said that ISRO has worked with a small budget of $ one billion as against NASA's budget of 20 billion.

Within a span of four decades ISRO has developed infrastructure for deep space network, payload operations and for processing scientific data.

"We will send a second unmanned mission to moon in 2012 followed by a similar mission to Mars in 2013 and sent a man on space voyage in 2015. ISRO has also drafted Indian Space Mission-2025," said Nair and added that in future space tourism would be a reality.

According to Nair ISRO with improved technology would aim at reducing the cost of its operations. Resuseable launch vehicles (RLV) would be developed in next 10 to 15 years and also heavy left launcher would be developed

ISRO has also developed applications for broadcast, meteorology, communication and for development programmes in the country.

ISRO's remote sensing could map agriculture production with near accuracy. It has helped mapping water resourses, forestry and helped in giving early warning for natural disaster management.