. 24/7 Space News .
India to launch more lunar missions before 2015: space agency
  • Parisians brace for flooding risks as Seine creeps higher
  • Volcanos, earthquakes: Is the 'Ring of Fire' alight?
  • Finland's president Niinisto on course for second term
  • Record rain across soggy France keeps Seine rising
  • Record rain across sodden France keeps Seine rising
  • State of emergency as floods worry Paraguay capital
  • Panic and blame as Cape Town braces for water shut-off
  • Fresh tremors halt search ops after Japan volcano eruption
  • Cape Town now faces dry taps by April 12
  • Powerful quake hits off Alaska, but tsunami threat lifted
  • UDAIPUR, India (AFP) Nov 23, 2004
    India will launch more missions to the moon if its maiden unmanned spacecraft Chandrayaan-1, slated to be launched by 2008, is successful in mapping the lunar surface, a top space official said Tuesday.

    "If there are good prospects for minerals then we will go for one or more robotic missions," said Madhavan Nair, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the country's premier space agency.

    "It depends on the success of the first mission," said Nair, who was in the northern city of Udaipur to attend a five-day global conference on "Exploration and Utilization of the Moon."

    Nair said the two planned missions would be launched before 2015.

    India's 590 kilogram (1,298 pound) Chandrayaan-1, which will map the lunar terrain for minerals and conduct scientific experiments, will also carry an "impacter" module, Nair said.

    The "impacter" weighing 20 kilograms will descend from the lunar orbit and touch the moon's surface to examine the surface more closely, he said.

    "At the impact it will kick up some dust which our master control room will pick up through the mounted cameras and analyse. It is an one-shot affair," Nair explained.

    The European Space Agency and National Aeronautics and Space Administration's X-ray and laser equipment will ride piggyback on India's Chandrayaan-1.

    The ISRO chief called on the international community to draw a roadmap for future space programmes.

    "International cooperation and collaboration is needed rather than competition, which exists today, to share space on an equitable basis. All the five nations should join hands to minimise costs," Nair said.

    The United States, the European Space Agency, China, Japan and India are all planning lunar missions during the next decade.

    The conference being attended by more than 200 delegates from 16 countries will draft a declaration on Friday underlining future cooperation in space programmes.

    All rights reserved. copyright 2018 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.