India is Building Reusable Launch Vehicles to Explore Mars and Search for Alien Life: ISRO Chief

India is currently working on reusable launch vehicles for Mars exploration and to search for alien life in the vast Universe, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman AS Kiran Kumar has revealed.

Mr. Kumar was speaking at an inaugural talk at Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) on Wednesday. PRL has organized a three-day brainstorming session on ‘Vision and Explorations for Planetary Sciences in Decades 2020-2060’. The event will provide academicians and planetary researchers a chance to discuss the latest trends and opinions in the area of planetary sciences and explorations.

On Wednesday, Mr. Kumar addressed 250 scientists coming from different states and institutions in India.

“The next step would be to search for signs of life and investigate resources that could support human habitation,” Mr. Kumar said while expressing his views on the future of Mars exploration.

“We need to develop capabilities by solving problems going into deep space also. We need to remain relevant and need to solve issues differently. The world is changing very fast and private entrepreneurs are entering the segment,” he added.

According to Mr. Kumar, the Indian space agency is currently building reusable launch vehicles to cut the costs incurred in the launch of spacecraft. A RLV refers to a launch system that allow recovering all or part of its components for later reuse. Most of the space agencies in the world currently use expendable launch systems, where each launch vehicle can be used only once and then it is discarded.

Mr. Kumar said that the space agency is also working on new technologies for interplanetary missions.

“We are also on the lookout for equipping with capabilities to carry objects in multiple launches than single launches. We want to reduce cost of access and hence are building reusable launch vehicles,” Kumar said.

In his speech, ISRO chief also urged space scientists and experts to identify potential scientific targets and work for development of indigenous instruments.

Kumar also revealed ISRO’s future plans for solar system exploration.

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