European payloads on India's moon mission

By agencies   |   Monday, 27 June 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: India's first unmanned spacecraft will carry three European payloads on its journey to the moon, scheduled for 2007, to be used in experiments on the lunar surface, ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair said.

The Indian Space Research Organization signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Space Agency Monday to carry the additional payloads aboard India's Chandrayan-1 spacecraft.

The payloads will include instruments such as an X-ray detector, a particle detector and a multi-spectral imager.

ISRO is also in talks with the U.S. National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) to carry a miniature-imaging instrument to detect water ice in cold traps on the lunar poles up to a depth of a few meters, Nair said.

"We have the capabilities to develop and manage a mission that would orbit the moon and enable a series of observations and measurements using specific instruments," he said.

The 590-kilogram Chandrayan-1 is expected to map the lunar terrain for minerals and conduct scientific experiments.

India has developed a tracking network to monitor the spacecraft while it is in orbit. A special ground station is also being constructed near Bangalore where ISRO is headquartered.


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