Hyderabad, May 12 (UNI) Noted space scientist U R Rao today stressed the need for a permanent habitat in Mars for starting a 'type II civilisation.' ''The time has come to colonise Mars as the chances of a holocaust on the earth are imminent,'' said the former Space Commission Chairman, who was here to receive the 'A V Rama Rao Technology Award,' instituted by the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology.
Delivering the 'National Technology Day' lecture, Prof Rao said ''we need not wait for evolution of oxygen there.'' The required amount of oxygen could be produced through a particular type of bacteria, he said, adding that it might take over 500 to 1,000 years to fully colonise Mars.
Referring to India's space programme, he said ''we have to increase the payload capacity and reduce the cost of launch by developing reusable launch vehicles.'' The cost should be brought down to 2,000 US Dollars or less for per kg as against Rs 25,000 US Dollars at present, he said.
Stating that space provided the solution for the energy crunch, he said Helium, available in plenty on the Moon, could be used to meet the evergrowing energy needs of the world.
Highlighting the challenges, including ensuring environment security and space security, he stressed the need for vigorously pursuing the search for life in other planets.
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