Chennai (ISJ): With the successful launch of the Mars Orbiter Mission or Mangalyaan, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is now working for the launch of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) - D5. GSLV, which will be propelled by indigenously developed cryogenic engine, was first scheduled to launch on August 19, 2013, but called off following a leak in the fuel system.
"We are assembling the vehicle. The first stage has been assembled already.
By December, we will have GSLV D-5 flight with Indian cryogenic engine," ISRO Chairman Dr. K. Radhakrishnan told mediapersons in Chennai on Tuesday (Nov. 19).
ISRO Chief said Mars Orbiter Mission or Mangalyaan is in "good health" and has reached a distance of 1.93 lakh kms from the Earth?s orbit. He said, the spacecraft is expected to be moved towards the Mars? orbit on December 01.
India's maiden interplanetary mission was launched on November 05. It will have to travel more than 200 million kilometers before it reaches the orbit around the Red Planet in September, 2014.
The 1,350 kgs robotic spacecraft carries five scientific payloads to observe Martian surface, atmosphere and exosphere extending up to 80,000 km for a detailed understanding of the evolution of that planet, especially the related geologic and the possible biogenic processes on that interesting planet. These payloads consist of a camera, two spectrometers, a radiometer and a photometer. Together, they have a weight of about 15 kg.
ISRO is collaborating with USA?s NASA in the mission. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is providing communication and navigation support with their Deep Space Network facilities.
Meanwhile, on Monday (Nov. 18) NASA launched its Mars mission ? MAVEN or Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft to study how the Red Planet lost its atmosphere and abundant water. The robotic explorer will take 10-months to reach Mars orbit, around the time India?s Mangalyaan will also be in its vicinity.