It’s tough to land on Mars, Nasa did a good job; our 2nd Mars mission will be an orbital one: Isro chief | India News


NEW DELHI: While congratulating Nasa scientists for the successful landing of their ‘Perseverance’ rover on Mars, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chairman K Sivan on Friday said that “India’s next Mars mission will also be an orbital one and not a landing mission”.
Talking to

TOI

, the Isro chairman said, “It’s a really tough to land on the Martian surface. But Nasa scientists did it. It’s a very good effort. I congratulate the entire team.” On the role of Indian-Americans like Swati Mohan, a Nasa scientist who led the guidance, navigation and control operations of the Perseverance rover mission, Sivan said, “I am also very happy to see Indian-American people doing a fantastic job in space missions abroad. I wish them all a great success.” Swati Mohan, who emigrated from India to the US when she was only a year old, confirmed the Perseverance touchdown. Her team’s job was to figure out how the spacecraft was oriented and make sure it was pointed correctly in space — “solar arrays to the sun, antenna to Earth and manoeuvre the spacecraft to get it where we want to go”.
Sivan informed

TOI

that India’s second Mars mission “will also be an orbital mission and a call for proposals through an announcement of opportunity had already been made” to seek proposals for scientific experiments from academia and institutions. The payload capability of the proposed spacecraft is likely to be 100 kg and 100W. However final values are to be tuned based on the final configuration. He said “after the MOM-2 mission, Isro will then plan the landing mission on Mars but it’s too early to talk about it right now. Currently, our main priorities are Chandrayaan-3 and Gaganyaan missions”.
Isro’s first Mars mission MOM-1 had successfully entered the Mars orbit on September 24, 2014, making India the first Asian country to reach the Martian orbit and the first nation in the world to do so in its maiden attempt. The Mars orbiter had since then sent thousands of pictures of the Red planet totalling over two terabytes, giving valuable data about the Red planet.
Other countries are also in the race to reach out to Mars. China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft, consisting of an orbiter, lander and rover, now orbiting Mars is slated to perform systematic checks of onboard equipment after adjusting its orbit in preparations for the country’s first Martian landing attempt later this year. For at least 92 Martian days (or 95 Earth days), the Chinese rover will conduct high-resolution on-the-spot surveys of the Red planet.



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