On 17 March the ESA Council, at its meeting in Paris, unanimously approved a cooperation agreement between ESA and the Indian Space Research Organisation for India’s first moon mission – Chandrayaan-1.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), founded in 1969, launched its first satellite in 1975. Since then it has developed a number of launch vehicles as well as satellites for Earth observation, remote sensing, telecommunications and weather forecasting. India has its own launch site at Sriharikota but has also used Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana to launch its satellites. Chandrayaan-1 marks its first venture into planetary space science.
Under the agreement Europe will coordinate and support the provision of three instruments: CIXS-2, the Chandrayaan-1 Imaging X-Ray Spectrometer; SARA, a Sub-keV Atom Relecting Analyzer; and SIR-2, a Near-Infrared Spectrometer. It will also support the hardware for the High-Energy X-ray Spectrometer (HEX). Direct ESA in-kind contributions are also foreseen under this historical agreement. In return, all data resulting from the instruments will be made immediately available to ESA Member States through ESA.
Giacomo Cavallo | alfa
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