India all set to give go ahead for Mars mission

India is all set to give the go-ahead for an ambitious mission to Mars, expected in November next year, a top Space Department official said here on Saturday.

"A lot of studies have been done on the possible mission to Mars", Secretary in the Department of Space and Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation K. Radhakrishnan told reporters here.

"We have come to the last phase of approvals", he said. "And I am sure that, may be soon, we will be hearing an announcement on the Mars mission".

According to ISRO officials, a significant amount of work on the planned Mars mission has been completed and scientific payloads have been short-listed.

The project report for Indian Mars orbiter mission has been submitted for government approval. The mission envisages launching an orbiter around Mars using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-XL).

The orbiter will be placed in an orbit of 500 x 80,000 km around MARS and will have a provision to carry nearly 25 kg of scientific payloads on-board.

"The tentative scientific objective for the Mars mission will be to focus on life, climate, geology, origin, evolution and sustainability of life on the planet,” according to ISRO.

Scientific payloads have been short-listed by ISRO's Advisory Committee for Space Sciences (ADCOS) review committee. Baseline, solar array and reflector configuration of the satellite have been finalised, the Bangalore-headquartered space agency said.

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