'Indian moon mission on track for 2007'

Wednesday, 26 January 2005, 08:00 Hrs
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CHENNAI: India's plan to send an unmanned space probe to the moon in 2007 is on track, the head of the country's space agency has said.

"ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) has completed all design activities for the moon mission. We are in the process of building special instruments required for it," ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair said.

A special three-stage tracking network to monitor the mission has been designed and a ground station for tracking the lunar probe will be set up near Bangalore, Nair told a function late Tuesday near Kanchipuram, 76 km from here.

A mini probe will detach from a circling spaceship and descend on the moon's surface, he said. "This probe will send data on the moon's surface to ISRO."

Nair also unveiled the space agency's plans for the year, noting the PSLV-III rocket would place into orbit CARTOSAT, a cartographic satellite with cameras of 2.5 metre resolution, sometime after March.

This satellite will be able to photograph objects as small as 2.5 metres.

A second CARTOSAT with higher resolution cameras will be sent up in the second half of this year. "This will enable detailed mapping of the entire subcontinent," Nair said.

The 3.5-tonne INSAT-4A satellite with 12 KU-band and 12 C-Band transponders will be launched from French Guyana in May. It will enable the transmission of programmes over 100 television channels, he said.

Source: IANS
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