EC to restart negotiations with India on Galileo project:ESA chief

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Hyderabad, Sep 25 (UNI) The European Commission (EC) will restart negotiations with India on its participation in the Galileo Project, a satellite navigation system being developed by European Union, European Space Agency (ESA) Director General Jean-Jacques Dor Dain said today.

Participating in a meet-the-press programme as part of the ongoing 58th International Astronautical Congress here, he said member states of the European Union (EU) would take a decision in this regard by October and the EC would decide on the later course by December.

The ESA head, who had a meeting with ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair earlier, said they would meet again in March 2008 to review the progress in the implementation of the 'Moon Mission' and other space projects and chalk out future course of action for furthering cooperation between them.

The assembly of ESA's Space Station would be completed by 2010 and the second phase would be completed by 2015, when the US Space agency NASA had decided to close down its space station. ''We have no problem in upload capablity and astronauts, including a crew of six. We are still working on download capability'', he added.

India and China had signed with the ESA charter on natural disasters to exchange data on space disasters.

Asked about ESA's cooperation with India on Manned Space Flight, he said India was yet to take an official stand in this regard. The ESA would decide it by November 2008, he added.

The ESA was looking for Indian students participation through ISRO, in its ''Cosmic vision''. ''We need best of talents from all over the world for realising our Cosmic Vision''. Three proposals from Indian students were under evaluation, he added.

While asserting that cost of satellite launches had come down by 50 per cent over a period of time, he said ''ESA is launching three or four satellites a year and cost cannot be the main criteria''.

The cost would come down drastically only when private investors launched space tourism in a big way, he added.

UNI

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