Monday, February 2, 2009

Carle Pieters meets with ISRO in Bangalore

Divyah Ghandi of the Hindu reports Dr. Carle Pieters, who heads the design team for NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper on board the ISRO 's Chandrayaan 1, joins Apollo 17 astronaut Dr. Harrison H. Schmitt and many others suggesting the Moon might provide resources enough to pay the cost of exploring space beyond.

It is also likely such resources might drive that exploration.

"Out of a high profile closed-door meeting of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), NASA and the ESA held in Bangalore, Friday," Ghandi writes, "to evaluate the first 100 days of the Chandrayaan mission, Dr. Pieters "spoke to The Hindu about the Moon Mineralogy Mapper, an imaging spectrometer developed by her team."

“Scientists around the world have come to understand that the Moon is clearly the stepping stone for the future of the human species beyond the Earth,” according to Dr. Pieters, celebrated among the Geological Sciences faculty at Brown, and also Principal Investigator for the 3M, one of eleven instruments onboard Chandrayaan.

“So, it's no coincidence that four countries – India, China, Japan and U.S. – are showing simultaneous interest in the Earth’s celestial neighbor.”

Professor Pieters said, "the Moon could support future explorations of Mars or near-Earth asteroids" through fuel and “if we get lucky” water resources too, she said.

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