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India's moon mission to explore energy potential

A file photo of Chandrayaan-1

SRIHARIKOTA (PTI):India's first unmanned Moon mission Chandrayaan-1 is set to take off at a time when there is renewed interest in the heavenly body across the world, especially in its potential to become a future source of energy.

“We sometimes face the question why India is attaching so much importance to this mission, nearly 40 years after man first landed on the Moon,” senior space scientists said here on Monday.

“The reality is that there is now a renewed interest in the Moon for a variety of reasons,” Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) Dr K Radhakrishnan and his counterpart in the Satish Dhawan Space Centre MC Dathan told a team of visiting journalists here Monday.

For one thing, the Moon could be a major source of energy for human beings, grappling with the grim question of how to overcome the critical situation caused by fast depleting fossil fuel reserves on Earth, the scientists said.

Earlier Moon missions had detected the presence of Helium in the celestial body's surface. In future there could be explorations to bringing it to the Earth, harness and process it, they said.

Secondly, the Moon, the only natural satellite of Earth, is an intermediary planet. The scientists said that explorations there could serve as a scientific and technological exercise in man's dream of reaching to other planets like Mars.

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