Asked if he wants to be known as the "Mars Man", he said, "I would like to be known as ISRO Man. It's ISRO team which is doing it -- PSLV, GSLV, Mars everything. So, I would like to be a part of that ISRO team.”

Responding to questions, Radhakrishnan, also Secretary in the Department of Space and Space Commission chairman, rubbished the perception of some critics that the November five Mars Orbiter Mission is timed to suit the prospects of the ruling dispensation at the Centre in an election year, as the venture is bound to generate "feel-good factor" and "self-pride".

He said that from 1962 when the space programme started, there have been milestones and they are not designed for any of the political regimes.

"This (the space programme) happens on one side. One government starts and another government might see the fructification of that also.It's nothing tuned for a...but critics can always say anything and nobody can stop. But there is no such design in space. Space has definite time. After you conceive a project, it takes time. They are not politically motivated schedules,” Radhakrishnan added.

(Agencies)

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