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Mars mission to be a great learning experience: Scientist

India's Mars Orbiter Spacecraft onboard PSLV-C25 will be launched on November 5, 2013

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Senior scientific advisor to India's Mars Orbiter Mission Jitendra Goswami said here today that India's Mars Orbiter Mission would be a great learning opportunity for future inter-planetary explorations.

"The present mission would be a great learning opportunity for India's future interplanetary explorations," Goswami said in an interaction with reporters here.

"What I can say is that we are going in a modest way. The cost of the mission would not exceed $70 million, which is a modest budget compared to how much other countries invest in their missions," he said.

India's Mars Orbiter Spacecraft onboard PSLV-C25 (in its XL version) will be launched on November 5, 2013 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota High Altitude Range (SHAR) at Sriharikota.

He, however, rued technology gaps in India's interplanetary explorations.

"What I feel is, our interplanetary explorations have technology gaps. So, among the main objectives of India's first mission to Mars, is to develop technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission," Goswami told reporters here.

It would be premature to say at this point of time whether any minerals or other matter exists on the planet, he said.

"We shouldn't have a strong feeling that there is nothing over there. What we are looking for is something organic, which can pave way for further explorations. If we get evidence of the presence of water, there could be something else also," he said.

When asked why no country had attempted a mission to Venus, despite it being a neighbouring planet, he said that the atmosphere on that planet is tough and perhaps by 2020 or 2022, some countries might explore a Venus mission.

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