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NASA, ESA keen to be part of Chandrayaan-II mission

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BANGALORE (PTI): NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) want to be part of Chandrayaan-II, the next Indian mission to Moon, by sending their instruments, ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said here today.

Replying to a query whether NASA and ESA have sent proposals to ISRO to be part of Chandrayaan-II, expected in 2012 or 2013, by sending their instruments, Radhakrishnan told reporters, "They are all there actually (they have sent proposals)."

NASA and ESA are among "several candidates" who have evinced interest in Chandrayaan-2, he said.

"There is discussion going on that...And there is a team which is discussing with various scientists...Scientific Advisory Board. You look at all the requirements and what experiments we need to do and what mass is available and what they would require and from Chandrayaan-I, what are all the things that you have to follow up. This will be taken care of soon," he said.

India had hosted six foreign instruments in its maiden moon odyssey Chandrayaan-I -- three from ESA, two from NASA and one from Bulgaria. Chandrayaan-I carried India's five instruments.

Chandrayaan-I was launched in October 2008, but the mission was abandoned in August last year when the spacecraft lost radio contact.

Bangalore-headquartered ISRO said the venture had met more than 90 per cent of it scientific objectives. The highlight of the mission was finding of water on the moon's surface by a NASA instrument on board.

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