India’s got a very young space program, but with help from scientists around the world, it’s a space program that’s growing up very fast. While China will be putting a rover on the moon in 2013, India has bigger plans for 2013— Mars.
The Indian Space Research Organisation has just confirmed that it will be sending an orbiter to Mars in 2013. The $90 million satellite will carry about 55 pounds worth of science payload (made up of as many as nine individual instruments), and will “focus on life, climate, geology, origin, evolution and sustainability of life on the planet,” the organization says.
Anyway, this Mars mission is just a stepping stone for India, which is gearing up to send a manned mission into space in 2016. That will make it the fourth nation to put a human into space using domestically-developed hardware, and the second in just a few years after a huge gap following the Soviets and the U.S. back in the 1960s.
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