S & T

Updated: October 23, 2009 16:40 IST

India keen on space exploration, considering manned missions

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PSLV C-14 leaves a trail of smoke during its launch from Satish Dhavan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, on Sept. 23, 2009. Photo: PTI
PTI PSLV C-14 leaves a trail of smoke during its launch from Satish Dhavan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, on Sept. 23, 2009. Photo: PTI

After launching a moon mission, India is now looking at further options to explore the inner and outer space, including sending manned missions to space.

The Indian space programme is entering into exploration phase mainly to explore inner solar system and build such capabilities for exploring outer solar system, Member of Parliament, Anwar Ali Ansari, said here during a debate of a UN committee on ‘International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space’

“India also continues to discuss carrying out human spaceflight programmes,” Mr. Ansari said.

Mr. Ansari said India is getting ready to launch several satellites including Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT—1).

“Six small satellites built by Germany, Turkey, Switzerland, a YOUTHSAT with participation of Moscow State University, an X-SAT with participation of NTU of Singapore, NLS-6 of Canada and ALSAT-2 from Algeria are also scheduled to be launched as co-passengers in these flights,” he said.

To provide satellite-based positioning, navigation and timing service in the region, India is building Geo Augmented Navigation system (GAGAN) as well as an Indian Regional Navigation Satellite system (IRNSS).

Welcoming the addition of “Space and Climate” to the General Assembly agenda, Mr. Ansari said India placed importance on international cooperation to minimise cost of access to space.

Mr. Ansari also said that the Oceansat-2, scheduled to be launched shortly, would carry a Radio Occultation Sounder from Italy.

“Currently, formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or Agreements are in place with more than 30 countries and international organisations,” he said.

“Many of these understandings pave way for sharing our expertise in the use of space-derived geo spatial information for sustainable development,” he said.

He also said that India was playing a part in building capacities for other developing countries.

“So far 824 scholars from 31 countries from the Asia-Pacific region and 27 scholars from 17 countries outside the Asia-pacific region have benefited from the educational activities of this Centre,” he said referring to the Centre for Space Science and Technology Education for Asia and Pacific Region, affiliated to the U.N. and operating from India.

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