India's space agency unveils details about the country's first satellite to Mars that would seek to find out the presence of methane gas, a precursor for life, on the red planet.
BANGALORE, KARNATAKA, INDIA (SEPTEMBER 11, 2013) (ANI) - India's space agency on Wednesday (September 11) unveiled details about the country's first satellite to Mars that would seek to find out the presence of methane gas, a precursor for life, on the red planet.India's Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had worked upon the country's upcoming, Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) and is set to launch it in between September 21 to 27.
Scientists of ISRO said that the tests conducted on the new spaceship under a simulated space environment have been successful.
The spacecraft would now undergo vibration and acoustic tests before being transported to the spaceport of Sriharikota, where the launch campaign has already commenced.
On the sidelines of news conference at Bangalore in southern state of Karnataka, the Project Director of the mission, Arunan, said that it was a perfect combination of science and technology.
"We have some science instruments, which study Mars in three perspectives from Indian science point of view that also we are having. So I can say, it is a perfect use of technology and science, this mission," said Project Director of the ISRO's Mars mission, Arunan.
The spacecraft would go around the earth for 20-25 days. It would then embark on a 9-month voyage to Mars.
Arunan further added that the minimum life of the spacecraft around Mars is six months.
Programme Director of the mission, M. Anna Durai, said that satellite would be carrying scientific instruments, including a methane sensor, with itself.
"Science instruments concerned here, we have mars colour camera, basically we are trying to take the photographic image of Mars is concerned, in various angles we are trying to take that. Then we have the methane sensor, methane is their or not, try to understand. Then we have a thermal infra-red thermal imaging camera, basically trying to get the surface features thermal characteristics," said Programme Director of the ISRO mission to Mars, M. Anna Durai,.
He also mentioned about several challenges in this mission, including on communication, navigation, power and propulsion systems.