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India signs up with NASA for Chandrayaan-1

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MUMBAI (BNS): India has joined seven other nations to team up with NASA for future exploration of earth's only satellite. Currently NASA is preparing for the first unmanned mission to moon, Chandrayaan-1 sometime between October and December.

Calling this global lunar pact ‘landmark’, NASA said that it will allow the eight nations, including India, to jointly develop new technologies and send robotic exploratory missions for a manned return mission to moon.

For the major space centre, the agreement is important as all the eight countries are keen to send astronauts to the moon. According to scientists, the interest in the study of moon, in India, Japan and China is an advantage to NASA.

In India, ISRO spokesperson S Satish confirmed that the lunar agreement was signed at a conference of International Lunar Users' Group at NASA's Ames Research Centre in July. Devi Prasad Karnik, space counsellor attached to Indian embassy in Washington represented India. The other seven countries are Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, France and Britain.
Meanwhile, Japan has already launched an unmanned mission to the moon, while Germany, Italy and Britain had announced at International Astronautical Congress last year that they planned their own lunar missions, independent of the European Space Agency.

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