Indian space agency planning to set up telescope on Moon, reveals ISRO Chief

While addressing the students of IIT Madras, ISRO chief A S Kiran Kumar revealed that the Indian space agency is in talks with foreign agencies for sending a remote controlled telescope on Moon in order to improve scientific research and obtain more accurate data. ISRO will start developing the telescope as soon as the deal is inked with any international body.

He further added that engineers at ISRO are checking the feasibility and exploring of possibilities of operating a telescope on Lunar surface. India’s lunar telescope will have  scientific observation capability similar to the one in Handley in West Virginia, US.

At the meeting, ISRO Chief talked about the success of ASTROSAT — India’s first fully dedicated space observatory satellite which was successfully launched in its maiden attempt along with six other foreign satellites on 29 September 2015. ISRO’s low-cost 1.5 ton satellite was launched by a trusted Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-30. ASTROSAT which is injected into a 650 km orbit is equipped with one UV telescope, a charge particle monitor and will carry four  X-ray payloads. India is only the fourth nation to achieve the feat after the US, Russia, and Japan.

Kiran proudly announced the success of GSLV -F05 rocket launched last month from Sriharikota. Scientists at the Indian space agency used indigenous cryogenic upper stage engine to successfully locate the heavy weather satellite INSAT-3DR weighing 2800 kg into the orbit. The satellite will enhance the accuracy of weather prediction giving the necessary edge in international space commerce in future.

The successful launch of over two-tonne satellite has put India in the elite league of nations able to lift up such heavy satellites in the geostationary orbit. Only five other nations — US, Russia, France, Japan and China, have the cryogenic engine technology to lift such heavy satellites.

Kiran responded to several questions asked by the students in the hall. When asked about the Reusable Launch Vehicles and when it will become usable, ISRO chief said space agencies need RLVs to carry objects in space even if they are not much cost effective and Indian scientists are working on developing RLV in India itself.

He further added that arrival of private space agencies like SpaceX are posing great challenges and competition in front of ISRO especially when it comes to the development of Reusable Launch Vehicles, but Indian scientists have the potential to develop RLV in our homeland.

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