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Chandrayaan spacecraft to carry six instruments from Europe, US

By Staff
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New Delhi, Feb 26 (UNI) The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has selected four instruments from Europe and two from the United States for inclusion in Chandrayaan-1 (Moon Mission), whose launch is planned for 2007-08, for conducting experiments for the advancement of scientific knowledge about the moon.

The six instruments are in addition to the main Indian scientific instruments to be included in India's first mission to the moon, Prithviraj Chavan, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, has said.

He clarified that Chandrayaan-1 was progressing as per plan towards its launch during 200708.

The Preliminary Design Reviews of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft and payload systems have been completed.

"The development of the spacecraft, scientific instruments and establishment of deep space network are progressing satisfactorily.

After the successful completion of three flights of Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), the ISRO is now planning to launch a series of 2000 kg class communication satellites in the operational flights of GSLV during 2007-2010.

The first flight in this batch, GSLV-F04, which is aimed at meeting the national requirement in the areas of communication, meteorology, education and health, is planned during mid-2007, Mr Chavan said.

Meanwhile, ISRO sources said it had finalised a plan to set up 100 satellite linked Village Resource Centres (VRC) by March this year.

The cost of setting up one VRC is approximately RS 4.50 lakh.

The VRCs are coming up in the states of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Orissa, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Karnataka accounts for the largest number of them.

On the issue of securing global launch market by India, Mr Chavan said the Indian launch vehicle programme was mainly intended to meet the domestic requirements.

"After meeting the domestic requirements, the residual capacity is made available for commercial launches for other countries," he said.

In this context, he said the present annual forecast in respect of the demand for launch services globally was about 15.20 launches in Geostationary orbits and about three to six launches in other orbits.

Considering the current market scenario and heavy competition, a maximum of five per cent of the global market share can be targeted by India for launch vehicles and related services.

On the reports that the ISRO has developed low-cost reusable space vehicle technology, Mr Chavan said this was not true. However, a few investigative studies and experiments have been taken up which might lead to the development of reusable space vehicles technology.

"It is expected that that this, in turn, will make space transport more affordable on account of the reuse of expensive hardward." UNI SH PA RAI1204

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