A number of countries have shown keen interest in participating in India’s mission to moon ‘Chandrayaan-I’ programme. The participation vary from taking part in experiments to utilisation of facilities and analysis of data. Russia is a major partner in the programme, with whom an MoU has already been signed. This MoU covers cooperation in space navigation system also. The latest country to express keenness in joining the programme is Israel, whose Minister for Science and Technology, Mr. Eliezer Sandberg was recently on a visit to India. The Israeli delegation is having talks with ISRO authorities in Bangalore today on cooperation with India in space technology and applications. The two sides have already taken up a joint project on the study of ultra violet science and space-astrophysics.
Under the already approved 386 crore rupee Chandrayaan-I project, a lunar probe will be launched by our own PSLV in a polar orbit of about 100 km altitude around the moon, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. This will be India’s first mission to moon devoted to high resolution remote sensing of the lunar surface features and mineral composition in visible, near infrared, low and high energy X-ray regions. This will provide Indian scientists an opportunity to study scientific aspects such as origin, features and composition of the lunar surface.
The mission is planned to be achieved in five years. Follow-up planetary missions will be decided only on the progress and outcome of Chandrayaan-I. The project is supposed to help expand the horizon of India’s scientific knowledge, help in upgrading its technological capability in a deep space mission, covering a distance of 3.5 lakh km with precision navigation and guidance systems.