Friday, May 23, 2008

India to launch lunar mission soon

New Delhi - India will launch its first unmanned space craft—Chandrayan I— in the last quarter of this year. The Moon mission would capture images of the lunar surface.

“The mission is aimed at carrying out high resolution mapping of topographic features in three dimensional and to harness the science payloads,” the ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair said.

Chandrayan I will travel in a polar orbit around the moon and pay special attention to gathering data on the polar icecaps that may contain traces of water.

Nair said that the lunar craft would take at least two years to cover the entire moon’s surface.

Talking about ISRO’s future plans, the Chairman said that the space agency would launch two commercial satellites for the European Union (EU), and is also planning to launch a geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) with an indigenous cryogenic engine.

Stating ISRO’s plans to launch 70 missions in the 11th Five Year Plan period, he said that the number of missions would be three times more than missions in the past five years.

—iGovernment Bureau (verbatum)

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