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Indi?s moon mission attracts foreign proposals

India’s proposed moon mission, Chandrayaan-1, has attracted partnership proposals from the United States, Canada, the European Union and Israel. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman, G. Madhavan Nair, told recently in Bangalore that of the 20 proposals received, only two could be finally accepted. A scientific committee was in the process of reviewing and short-listing the proposals, he said.

The two foreign space agencies finally selected would carry out auxiliary experiments during the Rs. 350-crore moon mission, scheduled for 2007, he said.

“ISRO’s present plans are for an unmanned moon mission. As of now, there is no proposal for a manned mission to the moon,” Mr. Nair said, speaking after inaugurating Vigyan Rail, a science exhibition on wheels at the Cantonment Railway Station.

About ISRO’s plans for this year, Mr. Nair said the next GSLV launch carrying EDUSAT was expected to be in August from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. This would be followed by the launch of the fourth generation INSAT-4A, carrying 36 transponders, to meet the increasing demand from users in India. This was to be launched from Kourou in French Guyana in December by an Ariane launcher.