Chandrayaan a remote-sensing champion: Europe

October 22nd, 2008 - 7:50 pm ICT by IANS  

ISROSriharikota (Andhra Pradesh), Oct 22 (IANS) The European Space Agency (ESA) hailed Wednesday’s successful launch of the lunar mission Chandrayaan and said it was a new opportunity for Europe to strengthen ties with India - “an ever growing space power.”"Chandrayaan-1, ISRO’s (Indian Space Research organisation’s) first mission beyond earth orbit, marks the beginning of a new era of collaboration between ESA and India in space science,” the agency said on its website reporting the successful launch.

“In an era of renewed interest for the moon on a worldwide scale, the ESA-ISRO collaboration on Chandrayaan-1 is a new opportunity for Europe to expand its competence in lunar science while tightening the long-standing relationship with India - an ever stronger space power,” said David Southwood, ESA director of science and robotic exploration.

“While the exploration of space calls for new challenges to be overcome, joining forces is becoming more and more a key to future successes.

“We congratulate ISRO on the successful launch this morning and we are eagerly looking forward to science to begin,” Southwood said.

Chandrayaan is carrying three devices from the ESA.

Earlier in a write-up ‘what’s special’ about Chandrayaan, the ESA had described the probe as a champion in high-quality remote sensing.

Under the heading “A ‘champion’ in high-quality remote sensing”, the agency wrote: “Although missions have collected lunar samples in the past to analyse later on ground, the role of remote sensing of the lunar surface is gradually increasing.

“There are many aspects, such as the global mineralogical composition, size and structure of the moon, that require further study from orbit using remote-sensing techniques.

“Other aspects that require study are the existence of ice and water in the permanently shadowed lunar polar regions, and the hemispheric asymmetry between the earth-facing and the far side of the moon.

“Accommodating 11 instruments on board, Chandrayaan-1 will record high-quality visible, near infrared, low- and medium-energy X-ray data of the moon to help answer these questions from orbit,” the write-up said.

“More than any other question about the moon, our understanding of the evolution of lunar crust strongly depends on our knowledge of its composition. Chandrayaan-1 will collect global surface composition data to understand the formation and evolution of lunar crust and the processes that have modified it during its history,” it said.

“Chandrayaan-1’s objectives will be of great value for future missions to the moon, mercury (such as ESA’s BepiColombo) and other bodies in the solar system which do not have an atmosphere,” the write-up said.

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