Sriharikota,Nov 5 (): Mars mission that starts off today afternoon is nothing but a showpiece event and a move to hide ISRO’s setbacks of the past.
The Mars mission, to be launched today will help ISRO to divert the attention from setbacks in the development of GSLV ( Geo Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) which it needs to have if it has to be in the big league of space nations.
ISRO GSLV programme is to put 2000 kg + category heavy communication satellite. ISRO now lacks this capability. This facility is vital to Chandrayaan 2 — ISRO’s full fledged mission to the moon. The launch was postponed after been set for August 19 , since a leakage was detected in its systems.
Seven attempts were made since 2001 to launch the GSLV but only two were successful and that too in the early period. GSLV will give India an important boost in the 2 billion dollar commercial communication satellite business.
Former ISRO Chairman G Madhvan Nair is one of the critics of the move to go in for the Mars mission while keeping aside Chandrayaan 2 and the GSLV development. Nair has labelled the Mars mission as of ‘no use’ and simply a showpiece event.
Madhavan Nair said ISRO should focus on GSLV and the next moon mission instead of pumping in Rs 450 crore on the Mars mission. Nair says ISRO should concentrate on practical missions and not put money into the Mars mission which will prove nothing. He refuted the view that the Mars mission will prove new technologies. He said that as someone who knows about these technologies, there is no new technology involved.
ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan says that the GSLV will be tested again on December 15. He says Ezra have been developing an indigenous Cryo stage for the past 20 years and they have to stick to it.
‘ISRO is developing GSLV MK III, another advanced vehicle. A ground test of the cryogenic stage will be done and a small test last week was successful,’ he said.
Radhakrishnan also disagrees that the GSLV programme will help ISRO in the commercial food chain of the space launch business. PSLV is the best commercial launch vehicle as GSLV has not done any commercial launche as yet, he said.
Chandrayaan 2 mission has been a setback not because of the faulty GSLV programme but because the Russians withdrew from providing a rover and lander after their own Phobos-Grunt Mars mission failed in 2011. They backed out in order to focus on their own space programme.