'Chandrayaan-1 embodies global space coop'

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Bangalore, Feb 26: Howard County Executive Ken Ulman today said the Indian Space Research Organisation's Lunar programme Chandrayaan-1, which would carry two payloads belonging to the NASA, was the best example for international space cooperation.

One of the payloads, MiniSAR is developed by Advanced Physics Lab of the John Hopkins University in Howard County in Maryland state of the US. Mr Ulman is in the city leading a trade delegation to promote cross-investment and explore future opportunities between India and the Horward County, the third richest county in the US. Speaking to reporters here, he said he had visited the ISRO yesterday and viewed the Chandrayaan-1 shuttle. ''It is a great opportunity and the ISRO must be credited for bringing in International Space and Science community to take part in this very impressive mission,'' he said.

Mr Ulman, who is accompanying the MiniSAR payload for the Chandrayaan-1 mission, said the instruments to be carried had tremendous practicability.

''ISRO will map the polar ice cap on the Moon and try to get a better sense of ice crystals and presence of water there. This mapping is important for future landing and more work to be carried out on polar cap. Lot of work is done on the Moon by the international community, but this is the first time such a study is being done on colder region around the ice cap,'' he said.

He further said he was impressed by the tremendous team of scientists in the ISRO and the world was impressed to see this Indian space programme. ''We are looking forward for the launch,'' he said.

The ambitious planetary mission would be carrying eleven payloads that includes six from other countries-- US (two), Britain, Sweden, Bulgaria and Germany. The remaining five are built by ISRO.

The Chandrayan-1, first slated for launch using PSLV in April, is rescheduled for its take off in July.

About the Indian Space Agency he said, ''the ISRO has the support of the US. It (ISRO) has done so much work for NASA. We are here to highlight the relationship between our state (Maryland) and India, and this is a perfect opportunity to do that.'' Mr Ulman said his team was impressed with the economic strides made by India and especially the Bangalore city. ''We see Bangalore's economy making a great spurt and many Indian and mainly city-based companies setting up bases in the US. I want to see how best we can bring them to Horward County, a base for 50 international companies,'' he added.

UNI

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