Planting Tricolour may help India's claim on Moon: Nair

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New Delhi, Oct 20 (UNI) Chandrayaan I, which takes off on October 22, will plant the Indian Flag on the Moon, thus helping India establish claim on the lunar surface, ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair said today.

''... But, it (the Flag) will not flutter as it is only a solid piece,'' Dr Nair told NDTV in an interview.

''Today, as per the international charter, the Moon belongs to the global community. Nobody can make special claim on the surface. In due course, we don't know how things will change. But, our presence will be established through this mission,'' he said.

India will be the fourth country after USA, Russia and Japan to put its Flag on the Moon.

And, so like Antarctica, if ever the resources on the Moon are shared, India will be a party to it.

Dr Nair said the claim on the Moon would also help India do mining for precious metals and look for Helium-3, a tonne of which can sustain the entire country's energy for one year.

The mission will also look for water on the Moon, which is essential for establishing a lunar colony, the ISRO chief added.

On the manned mission, Dr Nair expressed the hope that the country would be able to send man on the Moon by 2015.

''This would cost about Rs 10,000 crore,'' he noted.

Dr Nair said the Mars mission would be the next logical step.

''In about 3-4 years, we can have such mission,'' he added.

UNI YJ ATI RK1905

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