India wants to go to Mars, would have tech ready by 2012. Sudha Ramachandran, April 19, 2007, “India sets its sights on Mars”, Asia Times, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/ID19Df02.html BANGALORE - India's space scientists are reaching out further into the universe. Even as an unmanned mission to the moon is readying for launch, and a manned mission to space awaits final approval from the government, they are already eyeing the next destination - Mars. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is willing to launch a mission to Mars if it gets a green light from the government, its chairman Madhavan Nair, told reporters in Bangalore last week. "Our scientific community has come out with an outline of a mission to Mars. If the proposal is interesting, we will pursue it," Nair said. "We can undertake a mission to Mars within five years of the government's approval. If the project is given the go-ahead now, we will be in a position to launch the mission to the red planet by 2012," Nair, who is also chairman of the Space Commission, an apex policymaking body on space matters, said.
India Solvency: Moon Base
ISRO is developing the Chandrayaan-2 that will go to the moon and look for water and other volatile substances. N. Gopal Raj, “Chandrayaan-2 may explore water, other volatile substances near South Pole,” July 9, 2011, http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2211283.ece.
Another interesting presentation at the workshop looked at possible landing sites for the two landers. The presentation by A.T. Basilevsky and others gives three criteria for selecting the sites: the place must be rich in water and other volatiles; it should have a “rather smooth surface,” providing a clear approach during the lander's descent; and it must not be in a permanently shadowed area and should enjoy direct visibility from the Earth. Several slides on ‘Luna-Resource Site Selection' analyse the suitability of four sites near the South Pole of the Moon. It concludes that two of these sites “look the safest.” Other slides on ‘Luna-Glob Site Selection' examined sites near the North Pole. The landing site workshops, held in January and May this year, focused only on the Luna-Glob mission, Dr. Mitrofanov said in an email, responding to a question when the final site selection would be carried out. Landing sites at both poles were considered for the Luna-Glob, and the final selection would be done later this year. Speakers had mentioned the Luna-Resource lander as an example for another mission that was in parallel development with the Luna-Glob. It was proposed that the two landers should go to high latitude locations at opposite poles, said J.N. Goswami, chairman of the Science Advisory Board for Chandrayaan-2, when asked about the Russian presentation. Places near the South Pole would be an attractive target for the Chandrayaan-2 mission, he said. India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark-II will place the Chandrayaan-2's orbiter, coupled to the lunar lander and rover, in orbit around the Earth. From there, the orbiter's onboard rocket engine will propel both the spacecraft and the lander-rover into a trajectory that will take them to the Moon. But once on the lunar transfer trajectory, the orbiter and lander-rover will separate. The two would then journey independently to the Moon, according to a presentation made by Dr. Goswami and M. Annadurai, project director for Chandrayaan-2, at this year's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. After the lander touched down, the motorised rover would be released on the lunar surface. The rover would have a robotic arm as well as two instruments to study the chemical composition and volatiles in the lunar surface material within a kilometre of the landing site, they said.
India’s space program has arrived – discovery of water on the moon proves. Madhur Singh, Staff Writer, “Water on the Moon Buoys India’s Space Program,” TIME, September 26, 2009, http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1926393,00.html#ixzz1RvaQj3nq.
India's space agency has taken its share of hits over the years. When it was set up in the 1960s, the Bangalore-based organization's very existence was questioned by critics — both inside and outside India — who said a poor country should worry about feeding hungry millions before firing rockets into space. Last month, there were allegations of incompetence after India's first-ever lunar probe, Chandrayaan-I, was lost when its communications system shut down. So this week's announcement that the same probe, fitted with a NASA research instrument, had found water on the surface of the moon (and managed to send the data back to earth before losing contact) was a welcome reason to cheer at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). "Water ice on the moon has been something of a holy grail for lunar scientists for a very long time," Jim Green, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington said in a press release. "This surprising finding has come about through the ingenuity, perseverance and international cooperation between NASA and the India Space Research Organization." Indian newspapers were ecstatic: "One Big Step For India, A Giant Leap for Mankind," read the headline in the Times of India. ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair was beaming when he told reporters on Friday that "India should be proud that Chandrayaan discovered water on the moon It is acknowledged the world over that this is a real discovery and a path-breaking event for the Indian space agency."