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‘Man on moon mission not immediate priority’: ISRO

The ‘Man on the moon’ mission is not ISRO’s immediate priority as robots and remote sensing satellites were available to fulfil the requirements, ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair said in Chennai.

“We will not be looking at the ‘Man on moon’ mission in the immediate future as we have robots and remote sensing satellites to satisfy our requirements. Apart from that, the mission will also call for huge funding,” he said while delivering a lecture at an engineering college here.

To a question from a student, who compared NASA projects with that of ISRO, Nair said Indian space programmes were mainly intended to address the national needs. “We are not here to compete with others, though we are on par with developed countries in terms of access to space and in many space applications,” he said.

Lauding the government support for space programmes, he said most of ISRO’s space programmes were more cost effective, compared to developed countries. “The annual budget of Indian space programmes is Rs 2700 crore,” he said.

In the Space Science arena, he said there were plans to launch dedicated spacecraft for meeting scientific objectives such as Astrosat, for observation of celestial bodies from space, ‘MeghaTropiques’ for climate studies, especially in the tropical belt and ‘Chandrayaan’ for lunar exploration.