NEWS > SCIENCE > INDIA GETS READY TO LAUNCH MARS MISSION BECAUSE EVERYONE IS LAUNCHING MARS MISSIONS NOWADAYS
INDIA GETS READY TO LAUNCH MARS MISSION BECAUSE EVERYONE IS LAUNCHING MARS MISSIONS NOWADAYS
September 18 2012
Bangalore, India – There was a period, not even a brief period, when the United States was really the only game in town when it came to space travel. Even with Russia launching the Mir space station it was still really just the United States that garnered all the attention and did all the really cool things in space.
That time, though, has passed on by and NASA, the government agency responsible for space, has not nearly as much to show for it as they could have, something few people inside or outside the organization would really argue.
Now we are undergoing a new era of space exploration with half a dozen countries working towards significant programs of their own and even private enterprise starting to make huge strides off Earth. Perhaps the two most significant of these programs are the ones being developed by China and India, two countries who will surely be the ones deciding the future of our planet for the next little while, and already they are way ahead of the United States with India readying a Mars mission only a few years into their space program because, well, because everyone is going to Mars nowadays. It’s like WalMart.
“We are scheduling to launch the Mars mission November 27, 2013 when the red planet will be closer to the earth,” said K. Radhakrishnan, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Orgnaizatiin (ISRO). “We plan to put a spacecraft in an elliptical orbit for studying its atmosphere and detect presence of life on its surface.”
NASA has of course gone to Mars multiple times, including landing a rover just a few months back, but their program is decades old.
China is also planning missions to Mars as a part of their ever expanding space program which will include putting a man on the moon again, something only Americans have done thus far.
“This is certainly good news for the Indian space program, assuming they can get it to work of course. Launching anything into space is tough and India has had mixed result so far but if they can do this they will have made a major leap forward. Only the U.S. has reached Mars so far so it is still kind of big deal,” said Scrape TV Science analyst Dr. Howard Poe. “It’s not the biggest deal in the world but for India it will be huge. Probably for Russia too since they can’t seem to make that work for themselves.”
Russia has tried to send multiple vessels to Mars but they either blow up or can’t break orbit and end up burning up in Earth’s atmosphere.
“We’ll have to wait and see, obviously, if this actually works. It’s one thing to say you are going to do and another to actually do it. Going to Mars is not a simple thing even today. If it were everyone would be going to Mars, I would be going to Mars, we’d all be on Mars,” continued Poe. “Obviously that isn’t the case and that is because it is so difficult to actually get to the planet. Hopefully India has taken that into account and aren’t just going because everyone else is going. It would be a shame to spend all that money on something that might blow up just to look cool, especially if it blows up which is a distinct possibility.”
The Indian vessel has not blown up yet, obviously, or they wouldn’t have made the announcement.
Anna Phillips, Science Correspondent