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India to send manned mission to moon soon: President

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NEW DELHI (PTI): After the unmanned Chandrayaan-I, the country wants to send a manned mission to the moon, President Pratibha Patil said.

"We have sent an unmanned spacecraft, Chandrayaan-I, to the moon and we hope to send a manned spacecraft to the moon in the near future," Patil said on Saturday inaugurating the India International Trade Fair (IITF) here.

The President lauded the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) for organising a special exhibition at the Nehru Pavilion in the Pragati Maidan, the venue of the IITF, showcasing the nation's stride in the area of space technology.

The exhibition, 'India--A Space Odyssey', showcases the country's long journey in the field of space and related technologies.

"The future belongs to inventions, innovations, and enterprise. We must be prepared to move in that direction and to make India a storehouse of knowledge and expertise," the President said.

Chandrayaan-I was launched in October 2008 on two-year lunar mission. But it came to an abrupt end on August 30 this year. However, the Chandrayaan found signs of water on the moon marking a great advance in the country's space research.

The President said the economy had come a long way since beginning of the reforms in the early 1990s. "It resulted in higher growth rates, technological upgrade, increased foreign investments and larger trade volumes," she said.

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