India’s next venture is Mars orbiter: ISRO chairman

Bhubaneswar: Describing prospects of India's space programme as exciting and challenging, ISRO Chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan on Wednesday said the country's next venture would be the Mars orbiter mission while the first navigation satellite is slated to be launched by June this year.

Mars has played a major role in evolution of life on earth and the next mission is the Mars orbiter mission, Radhakrishnan said during an interaction with students of KIIT University here.

"The first navigation satellite is slated to be launched by June this year. Chandrayan-I is a major step towards lunar and planetary exploration," Radhakrishnan, also Chairman of Space Commission and Secretary, Department of Space, said.

"The next major objective of ISRO is to have a GSLV rocket, which is scheduled to be launched by May," he said.

Stating that the Indian Space Research organisation (ISRO) was now focussing on satellites and launch vehicles, he said prospects and the way forward for India's space programme "is exciting and challenging".

"India is planning to have a navigation satellite system, called Indian Regional Navigation Satellite, planned in 2013," he said, adding that six more such satellites would be launched in eighteen months.

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