India must establish credentials to join space community

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Nagpur, Apr 8 (UNI) India must establish the necessary credentials for its inclusion in international space community and be made a partner in international space projects, former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Dr K Kasturirangan said today.

Speaking to reporters here, Dr Kasturirangan said space research projects and the proposed missions to moon would help the country demonstrate its capabilities in the field. ''Once our capabilities are established, we will be made a partner in major international space research projects. India can contribute manpower and expertise, and even certain components of such projects,'' he said.

India, which was planning to send a satellite and later a robotic probe to moon, could afford a manned mission to space, Dr Kasturirangan said. However, it could not invest money in space research beyond a certain point, and hence it was necessary to join international space projects. ''We must take benefit of international cooperation,'' he added.

Such cooperation had already begun, with part of the country's lunar satellite ''Chandrayan'' having come from the United States (US), Dr Kasturirangan said. The satellite was being tested now, which had led to a delay in its launch, he said, but refused to comment on the impact thereof on the country's space programme.

Dr Kasturirangan was here to address the concluding function of the golden jubilee of the city-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).

UNI AB NM SW HT1705

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