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In touch with space: At the astronautical expo
In touch with space: At the astronautical expo

Y. MALLIKARJUN

Space trekking and galactic galas are in the offing according to the Astronautical Congress.

Have you ever wondered how it would be to exchange notes on space tourism, ways to prevent an asteroid from hitting the earth, global exploration strategy, future lunar and interplanetary missions and satellite-based telemedicine network? Well this was exactly what one was party to and more at the 58th International Astronautical Congress held here recently.

The world’s top space scientists, astronauts, builders of rockets and satellites, specialists in space debris and space law were among the 2,000-odd experts, who gathered to discuss ways to improve the quality of life by using space technologies.

Celebrate the launch

With this year marking the golden jubilee of the launch of the artificial satellite, Sputnik-1 by the then Soviet Union, a special screening of the historic event was held for the delegates. 2007 also celebrates the 50th anniversary of International Geophysical Year and 40th anniversary of Outer Space Treaty.

Missions to the moon and Mars held the centre-stage in the deliberations. The renewed interest in the moon was attributed to the fact that it could be used as a springboard to go to Mars. India’s Chandrayaan mission, Japan’s Selene and Chinese missions were highlighted. NASA administrator, Michael Griffin said he was "convinced" that the first human mission to Mars would take place by 2037.

Trail blazers

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