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ISRO eyes mission to Mars; Govt sanctions Rs 10 cr

fter the challenging mission to moon, ISRO today said it has begun preparations for sending a spacecraft to Mars within the next six years.

Government has sanctioned seed money of Rs 10 crore to carry out various studies on experiments to be conducted, route of the mission and other related details necessary to scale the new frontier, said ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair. 

"Already mission studies have been completed.Now we are trying to collect scientific proposals and scientific objectives," he told reporters on the sidelines of a day-long workshop of the Astronautical Society of India here. 

He said the space agency was looking at launch opportunities between 2013 and 2015.

Chandrayaan-I, the country's maiden unmanned moon mission, appears to have fired the imagination of young scientists who have taken to space sciences and ISRO plans to tap this talent for its mission to Mars.

"A lot of young scientists are being brought into the mission, particularly from the Indian Institute of Space Technology, the Physical Research Laboratory, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and other research laboratories," K Radhakrishnan, Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, said. 

He said the space agency would use its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) to put the satellite in orbit and was considering using ion-thrusters, liquid engines or nuclear power to propel it further towards Mars.

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