The Indian Space research organisation, ISRO, is likely to delay the launch of a mission to Mars that will begin in 2020 from the launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), officials said on Thursday.
The space agency will instead launch a satellite from the space station later this year that will be placed in geosynchronous orbit around the moon and will send back data and images to Earth.
The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has been designed to take a sample of the lunar soil in 2020 and then return it to Earth in 2022.
It will be launched from SDSC in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in July 2018.
The SDSCs mission is scheduled to be the first Indian spacecraft to land on the Red Planet.SDSCs chairman S K Radhakrishnan said the launch will take place in 2019 but ISRO will not be able to carry out the mission because of the Mars Orbiters (MOS) mission.
“I will be unable to carry the mission to the moon as we are planning to conduct the mission on a Mars orbiter,” he told reporters at a briefing.
Radhakrishnan said ISRO is also looking to send its Mars mission to a moon orbiter that is in a stable orbit and that the two missions could be put together for the first time.
“We are also considering sending it to a Mars mission that is at the L1-L2 orbital plane of the Moon.
The Mars Orbitals mission is a Mars-orbiting spacecraft.
It will have a very long time to stay in orbit,” he said.ISRO is planning to send the Mars orbiters back to the space centre in 2019.
The agency is also working on an ambitious project to send a Mars probe to Mars.
The Chandrayaan-1 mission is one of the two Mars missions that ISRO has launched.
Chandrayans mission, launched in 2004, is slated to reach Mars in 2020.
The other Mars mission is the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission, which is planned to land in 2020 on the surface of Mars.ISRAEL TO JOIN MAVEN MAKEOVER IN 2020S Radhakant said ISRAEL, Russia and the United States were working together to jointly launch the Mars mission.ISROCOM HAS LEFT ITS SPACE CONTROL CONTROL BASES TO JOINS MAVEN IN 2020The launch of the MOM spacecraft is planned for October 2019 from SDF at the Sriharikota space centre, Radhakanta said.
“The space control base is not ready.
We will not use the space control station in the next six months.
We are not going to use it because it is not stable,” he added.
Radakrishnans statement comes as ISRO plans to build a spaceport in Sriharikkota.
“We are looking to build an international spaceport, in Srikota.
The spaceport is a huge opportunity.
It has to be built in the near future,” he stated.