ISRO to carry Swedish micro satellite on its Chandrayan voyage

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Bangalore, Oct 1 (UNI) The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) would be carrying the Swedish payload SARA, in its much anticipated Chandrayan-I mission which is scheduled for April next year.

SARA, a Sub-keV Atom Reflecting Analyser would help map the composition using low energy neutral atoms sputtered from the surface, senior ISRO official Dr S Satish said today.

Speaking at a press conference here where the Swedish Embassy announced the setting up of its Science and Technology office in India, the official said the ISRO and Swedish Board of Space Sciences had signed a MoU way back in 1986 and still continued close cooperation in space endeavours.

The Chandrayan-I mission included eleven payloads -- five belonging to ISRO and six from foreign countries. In this, four were from the European Space Agency and two from NASA, he said.

He said the 1304 kg satellite (590 kg initial orbit mass and 504 kg dry mass), to be launched on a PSLV, would carry high resolution remote sensing equipment for visible, near infrared, soft and hard X-ray frequencies. For over two years, it was intended to survey the lunar surface to produce a complete map of its chemical characterstics and 3-dimensional topography.

The mission would carry out resolution mapping of topographic features and distribution of various minerals and elemental chemical species including radioactive nuclides covering the entire lunar surface using a set of remote sensing payloads, Dr Satish said.

The mission progress was on schedule and ISRO was confident of launch on April nine, 2008, he added.


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