New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) chief AS Kiran Kumar has revealed the space agency's new plans of installing a telescope on the moon. This will be a follow-on mission to Astrosat, Kumar announced at the second Dr APJ Abdul Kalam memorial lecture at IIT Madras.
He also hinted at ongoing discussions with an international body which will help conduct the mission and said that further updates will be announced soon after the deal is finalized.
Currently, engineers at ISRO are delving into possibilities of operating this telescope and scientific observation capability similar to the one in Handley in West Virginia, US.
As per The TeCake, at the meeting, the 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.
The successful launch of the 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.
He also acknowledged the challenges and competition that the rise of private space agencies like SpaceX were posing for ISRO, especially considering the development of Reusable Launch Vehicles, but was also quick in respecting the capabilities of Indian scientists, adding that they have the potential to develop RLV in our homeland.