rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » NASA, ESA want to be part of Chandrayaan-II mission: ISRO

NASA, ESA want to be part of Chandrayaan-II mission: ISRO

February 04, 2010 16:08 IST

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and European Space Agency want to be part of Chandrayaan-II, the next Indian mission to Moon, by sending their instruments, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation K Radhakrishnan said on Thursday.

Replying to a query whether NASA and ESA have sent proposals to ISRO to be part of Chandrayaan-II, expected in 2012 or 2013, by sending their instruments, Radhakrishnan told journalists, "They are all there actually (they have sent proposals)."

NASA and ESA are among "several candidates" who have evinced interest in Chandrayaan-II, he said.

"There is discussion going on that... And there is a team, which is discussing with various scientists...the scientific advisory board. You look at all the requirements and what experiments we need to do and what mass is available and what they would require and from Chandrayaan-I, what are all the things that you have to follow up. This will be taken care of soon," he said.

India had hosted six foreign instruments in its maiden moon odyssey Chandrayaan-I -- three from ESA, two from NASA and one from Bulgaria. Chandrayaan-I carried India's five instruments.

Chandrayaan-I was launched in October 2008, but the mission was abandoned in August last year when the spacecraft lost radio contact.

Bangalore-headquartered ISRO said the venture had met more than 90 percent of it scientific objectives.

The highlight of the mission was finding of water on the moon's surface by a NASA instrument on board.

However, Radhakrishnan indicated that the number of instruments on board Chandrayaan-II is likely be less than the one carried by Chandrayaan-I, which had 11.

"In Chandrayaan-II, there is a lander and a rover... It will take the bulk of the mass. So for other instruments we have a limited space," he said.

ISRO said the lander and the rover would be tasked to collect samples of the lunar soil, analyse them and send back the data.

Towards this, India and Russia have signed an MoU for joint development of lunar rover and robotic arms to be developed in the Chandrayaan-II mission.