India and France to develop atmospheric satellite

India and France to develop atmospheric satellite

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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the French National Space Centre (CNES) signed a memorandum of understanding recently for the satellite Megha-Tropiques that will be launched in 2008-09. ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair and CNES president Yannick d’Escatha have signed the MoU. Megha-Tropiques, named after Megha (cloud) in Sanskrit and Tropiques (tropics) in French, will investigate the contribution of the water cycle in the tropical atmosphere to climate dynamics.

ISRO will build the spacecraft and launch the satellite using its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), while CNES will build the 1,000kg payload. The satellite will collect scientific data covering the tropical regions. The spacecraft would cost about Rs.500 million and the launch about Rs.600 million. Megha-Tropiques will be similar to the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites.