NEW DELHI, Aug 4 (Xinhua) -- India has approved its maiden mission to Mars next year, a move which will put India in the elite league of nations like the US, Russia, Japan and China which have undertaken missions to the Red Planet, local media reported Saturday.
The Indian Cabinet of Ministers cleared Friday cleared the state-owned Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) mission to Mars in 2013; the project envisages putting a spacecraft in the Red Planet's orbit to study its atmosphere, with the help of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, 'The Hindu' newspaper reported.
In fact, the launch is slated for November next year from the spaceport of Sriharikota in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, the report said, adding that the spacecraft will have a scientific payload of 25 kg and is proposed to be placed in an orbit of 500x80,000 km around the planet.
November was chosen as the planet would be closest to the Earth that time, the newspaper said, quoting sources.
The Mars mission will be a test for the capabilities of Isro, which received mixed results for its lunar mission, Chandrayaan 1.