Tuesday, December 19, 2006

India's Space Plans

Kumar said that, after a series of discussions within India’s scientific community, ISRO has decided to embark on a more ambitious series of [unmanned - edt:tDT] missions. “They basically demanded that we go forward and do these exploration missions,” he said. Those missions include Chandrayaan-2, a second lunar mission, around 2011; a mission to an asteroid or comet in 2015; and a Mars mission in 2019.


While the initial focus of India’s manned space program is on an orbital flight, similar to China’s Shenzhou spacecraft, the country’s scientists have ambitious plans. Kumar said in his presentation that one potential future mission would be a manned lunar mission as early as 2019, around the same time the US is scheduled to return to the Moon as part of the Vision for Space Exploration. However, Kumar didn’t specify whether this would be a simple circumlunar mission—which would still be very challenging—or an actual landing attempt, which would be far more difficult and expensive.

India's getting ambitious. I wish them well, but I doubt that they will land a man on the moon at the same time the US does (if we get to :() The unmanned missions are a little more believable though. The Soviets/Russians have sent probes to Mars, but not recently. We have. The Europeans have. The Japanese have tried. Now the Indians? When will the Chinese?

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