India: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to launch second mission to Mars with a lander and rover to carry out more experiments on the red planet. The proposed plans come after the Indian space agency has successfully placed its unmanned Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft to the Martian orbit in September.
"We plan to launch a second mission to Mars in 2018, probably with a lander and rover, to conduct more experiments for which we have to develop new technologies. We will be able to take the Mars-2 mission after launching the second mission to the moon (Chandrayaan-2) in 2016 with our own lander and rover, which will help us develop a separate lander and rover for the red planet,” said Shiva Kumar, Satellite Centre Director, ISRO. The agency is looking to launch the programme in 2018 as the missions to Mars can be launched at two year intervals. "We hope to have fully operational heavy rockets over the next two-three years for carrying communication satellites weighting two-three tonnes into the geo-stationary orbits around the earth," added Kumar. The space agency has developed the geo-synchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV-Mark I-III) with indigenous cryogenic engine to launch heavier satellites
Source: Business today