The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has joined today the bandwagon of top countries in the world with a space programme, by successfully launching its 100th mission on Sunday.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who witnessed ISRO’s successful launch at the Sriharikota Launch pad, remarked – “It is a tribute to Indian innovation. India is proud of its scientists who have overcomed various odds”. President Pranab Mukerjee was also present at this important occassion.
ISRO’s 100th mission
The mission had the launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV C-21), which carried the French advanced remote sensing satellite 720 kg SPOT-6 and its 15 kg Japanese micro satellite PROITERES. However it did not carry any Indian satellite this time.
The launch was scheduled to take place at at 9.51am, on Sunday morning. However due to some minor adversities in the climate, the launch was delayed by 2 mins. However the space launch vehicle followed a nearly perfect trajectory, after the launch.
The SPOT-6 satellite, built by ASTRIUM SAS,a subsidiary of EADS, France, is an earth observation satellite, while PROITERES, developed by students and faculty of Osaka Institute of Technology, will study Kansai region of Japanese island of Honshu.
With this launch, India’s space mission has moved into a new phase. ISRO has thus far launched 63 Indian-made satellites and 36 indigenous rockets – which is a long way that the organization has traced from its first launch of the Aryabhata satellite in 1975.
No Space War with China
ISRO’s chairman Dr. Radhakrishnan was all cheers after the successful mission. Speaking to the reporters, after the success of ISRO’s 100th mission, he remarked that India is not in a war against China in terms of launching space missions. “We never raced with anybody. In space, science drives technological development and that will subsequently result in developing an application”, he said.
Indian Mission to Mars
Dr. Radhakrishnan has said that the Mars mission, which was recently approved by the Cabinet, was a challenge and ISRO was completely geared to face it. He indicated that the satellite would be ready by November 2013 and the conducive period to launch it would be during that time when Mars would come close to Earth.
However he also said that there were several challenges in building this mission. “Challenges include developing new technology, reliable launch vehicle and the objective was to achieve an elliptical orbit of 500 km closest and 80,000 km farthest,” he said.
The Mars mission would have a voyage of nearly 300 days and there would be a series of operations after the vehicle leaves Earth’s orbit, the ISRO chief said. Radhakrishnan also said that there were many lessons learnt from the Moon mission – which could be helpful in building a successful mission to Mars. “From the lessons learnt in Chandrayaan (lunar) mission, we need to build on-board automation so that the satellite will manage itself in any eventuality,” he said.
Chandrayan 2 – India’s second lunar mission
The Chandrayaan 2 is planned for 2014 with India’s heavier rocket – Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).
“Russia is reviewing its inter-planetary missions after a failed joint mission with China. For Chandrayaan-2, Russia has to provide the lander.
“India will build the lunar orbiter and rover. Russia has said they would come to us with a decision after their review,” K. Radhakrishnan told reporters.