Wednesday, December 21, 2005

India Approves Launch of Satellite Fleet

In the next few years, India will add seven satellites to its orbiting fleet of space probes. Most of these satellites provide communications services, weather tracking and topographical cartography for rural areas.
India has been a space-faring nation for decades and has a long history of successful missions. It established the Indian Space Research Organisation in 1962, designed and uses its own launch system, and recently completed the first launch of two satellites from a single, locally built rocket.
India has also begun reaching out to other countries, such as Venezuela and Russia, in an effort to build future space partnerships. Following the 2004 Tsunami, ISRO officials pointed out flaws in space-based earthquake detection services, and began actively working to improve detection and tracking.
India is not stopping at Earth-orbit, however. ISRO officials announced plans for the Chandrayan-1 mission in August 2003. Expected to launch sometime in 2008, the Chandrayan-1 spacecraft will sit in lunar polar orbit, take detailed surface photos in multiple spectrums, and study lunar soil composition for specific elements. It's also likely the probe will carry scientific instruments from other interested parties.
ISRO officials claim the Chandrayan-1 is merely the first small step in what they believe will become a full-fledged study of various bodies in our Solar System using Indian built probes, landers and rovers...

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