Washington: The US-India Business Council (USIBC), a business advocacy organization representing American and Indian companies, has hailed American cooperation in India's first unmanned lunar mission, Chandrayaan-I. In a statement the organization has said that this cooperation marks the beginning of a new era of trust and partnership between the two countries in the field of space exploration.
The USIBC represents 260 of the largest US companies investing in India, along with two dozen of India's largest global companies.
"The United States and India are cooperating at this level of space exploration marks the beginning of a whole new era of trust and partnership. The Chandrayaan lunar mission will lead to exciting scientific advances," USIBC president Ron Somers said at a gathering of American businessmen and governmental officials honouring the chairman of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), G Madhavan Nair.
India's first unmanned lunar mission, Chandrayaan I, is scheduled for launch in April 2008. For the first time in the history of both countries an Indian space mission, Chandrayaan, will carry two critical NASA instruments to map the moon as its payload.
"Chandrayaan-I signifies the best example of technological excellence. The strides that the US and India can make together as partners in space will advance tele-medicine, tele-education, and disaster preparedness and management. Indian scientists deserve our heartiest congratulations," Somers added.
The ISRO chairman was in Washington for talks with US officials, including NASA administrator Michael Griffin.
Meanwhile, Nair, responded by saying that the " cooperation between the US and India, supporting the Chandrayaan mission, is just a sample of what can be accomplished together as partners."
The mission to the moon will carry two NASA payloads - a Miniature Synthetic Aperture Radar to map ice deposits in the moon's surface and a Moon Mineralogy Mapper to assess mineral resources of the moon.
Formed in 1975 the USIBCs mandate is to deepen US-India commercial ties.