'ISRO had not insured Chandrayaan-I mission'

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Bangalore, Oct 22 (UNI) The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which successfully launched Chandrayaan-I, India's maiden unmanned mission to the Moon today, was so confident of emerging success that it did not insure either the spacecraft or the launch vehicle against failure.

The Rs 386 crore project includes a Rs 186 crore spacecraft and the 44-metre four-stage launch vehicle that cost ISRO Rs 100 crore.

The ISRO spent Rs 100 crore to set up the Indian Deep Space Network (DSN) which includes a gigantic 32-metre antenna. It would be a vital element for not only Chandrayaan series, but also cater to the future planetary missions to be taken up by the space organisation.

However, ISRO had not taken any insurance on the entire project as it was a 'scientific mission', according to Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) Associate Director M Y S Prasad.

According to Mr Prasad worldwide scientific missions were not insured. ''This is not for profit. While satellites can be insured, the launch vehicle is not,'' he added.

According to SHAR Director Chandra Dhatan, generally indigenous missions were not insured, Chandrayaan-1 being one such launch.

In the run up to the launch, the top officials of ISRO had all along been quietly confident of the successful launch.

They could now boast of mastering the PSLV technology. Today's launch of India's maiden moon mission was ISRO's 13th success.

UNI RS VV SW GC1035

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