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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on May 9, 2006 15:47:19 GMT -6
India's moon mission to carry two US payloads
India will carry two US scientific payloads on board its planned Chandrayaan-1 unmanned mission to the moon, space officials said Tuesday.
The United States will place a miniature synthetic aperture radar to map the cold regions and a moon "minerology mapper," said US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) chief Michael Griffin.
The radar will scan for ice deposits while the mapper will track the mineral and chemical composition of the moon.
Chandrayaan-1, slated for launch by early 2008, will also carry five Indian instruments along with three developed by the European Space Agency and one from the Bulgarian Space Laboratory.
"The mission you will conduct some 40 years after humans saw the moon up close for the first time will greatly advance our understanding of our closest neighbour in space and represents a very impressive technical achievement," Griffin said.
"I understand ... you are undertaking this mission to upgrade India's technological capability and provide challenging opportunities for planetary research for the younger generation."
After signing a memorandum of understanding for the cooperation deal in India's space capital Bangalore, Griffin said he hoped the United States and India would come together in more future space projects.