NEW DELHI: India said today it will send a $70 million space mission to Mars this year to study the red planet’s atmosphere.
The unmanned Mars orbiter mission, to be launched in October by the Indian Space Research Organisation, will undertake a 300-day journey to the planet to collect data about its climate and geology.
The space programme epitomises India’s scientific achievements and benefits the country in a number of areas, President Pranab Mukherjee told lawmakers in a speech opening a new session of parliament in New Delhi.
Several space missions are planned for 2013, including India’s first mission to Mars and the launch of its first navigational satellite, he said.
India says the Mars mission will mark a significant step in its space programme, which has already placed a probe on the moon and envisages its first manned mission in 2016.