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ISRO aims beyond Chandrayaan-1

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, May 12 (UNI) With India's first mission to moon in place to take off in 2008, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has set its aim high to take up the next challenge after Chandrayaan-1, which could include a spacecraft to Mars, or an asteroid or a comet.

Calling upon scientists to accept the challange, mission principal scientist Dr J N Goswami today said ''we have to make decisions regarding the next planetary mission in six-seven months.'' Talking to reporters on the occasion of National Technology Day at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre here today, Dr Goswami, the Director of Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad, said the raw data transmitted by Chandrayaan-1 would be collected at National Space Science Data Centre at Bangalore and later disseminated for analysis to collaborators.

The unmanned Chandrayan-1 mission will carry out a physical and chemical mapping of the moon.

It would carry five Indian instruments and three developed by the European Space Agency and one from Bulgaria.

Besides, two payloads of National Aeronautic Space Agency (NASA) will also be flown on the mission. An MoU to this effect was signed on Tuesday between ISRO and NASA.

The first payload will look for polar ice on the moon and the other will study the moon's surface mineral composition.

The Chandrayan-1 mission envisages placing a 525-kg satellite in a polar orbit 100-km above the moon. The satellite will be launched using a modified version of India's indigenous Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The spacecraft will initially be launched into Geo-synchronous Transfer Orbit, and subsequently manoeuvred into its final lunar orbit using its own propulsion system.

Chandrayan-1 is expected to be the forerunner of more ambitious planetary missions in the years to come, including landing robots on the moon and visits by Indian spacecraft to other planets in the solar system.

Earlier, delivering a special lecture on ' Chandrayaan-1 and Beyond : Science and Technology Challenges.' .....picking up from opening para of BY 15.

UNI JM SA Mir BD2056

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