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India to launch exclusive satellite for climate

BANGALORE, India: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman G. Madhavan Nair has said that after the success of Chandrayaan 1, India’s Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is going to launch an exclusive weather satellite jointly with the French space agency CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales) in 2009.

The satellite, named ‘Mehga Tropiques’ will study the tropical atmosphere and its associated phenomena and would help India and France to study the cyclones, monsoon and other changes. The Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS) would be built and launched by ISRO and two instruments called SCARAB and SAPHIR would be built by the CNES. The other critical instrument called MADRAS will be jointly engineered by ISRO and CNES.

“It is a joint agreement between France and ISRO. Some instruments are made by French people and some we are doing it. By the end of the 2009, it would be launched. This satellite will provide lot of inputs for weather modulates and near time weather forecast and so on,” said Nair.

The satellite would be operated by ISRO and both the countries (India and France) would share data. India hopes to send an astronaut into space by 2012 and a manned mission to the moon by 2020.