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August 26, 1999

India Contemplates Manned Lunar Mission

Indian Space Research Organization

The ISRO says it can send men to moon'(from The Hindu)

NEW DELHI, AUG. 12. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has the capability of sending man to moon, noted space scientist, Prof. U. R. Rao, has said.

The ISRO has the technological expertise to make hi-tech and complex launch vehicles and spaceships needed for a journey to moon which is 380,000 km away from the earth.

With the indigenously developed geostationary launch vehicle (GSLV) technology, making a suitable launch vehicle for the lunar journey would not be a problem for the ISRO, Prof. Rao, a former Chairman of ISRO, told PTI.

``Making the spaceship and a lunar ferry which will detach itself from the main spaceship and ultimately land on the moon will, however, be a bit difficult as parameters like lunar gravity and influence of other celestial bodies will have to be taken into consideration,'' he said.

With the existing expertise, ISRO could do the job ably, he said. He, however, refused to comment on earlier reports quoting the ISRO chief, Dr. K. Kasturirangan, that the ISRO would send men to moon within a decade. Man first landed on moon 30 years ago.

The destination moon project might cost about Rs. 200-250 crores($460-$580million) , Prof. Rao, a member of Space Commission, said.

Destination moon, however, was not a high-priority issue for the ISRO as it was now focussing on community-serving activities, he said. ``The project will be taken up only if there is an urgent need to conduct some important experiments on lunar surface,'' he added.


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