India, France to cooperate in inter-planetary missions
17 April 2018
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and French National Space Agency (CNES) have come together for development of autonomous navigation system for rovers on Moon, Mars and other planets, and aero-braking technologies for planetary exploration.
CNES could provide support to Isro for the navigation of future moon rovers while the two would jointly work on the models to study Mars and Venus atmospheres, according to the space agency.
The decision comes almost a month after the two sides agreed on enhanced space cooperation.
“Venus is under-explored compared to Mars. This is why we want to concentrate on Venus. Isro has confirmed this priority for them. Discussions are also going on for the future Indian Mars mission,” said a CNES official.
India is likely to send its second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-II, this month, with a rover for exploring the Moon. Isro also plans to send another mission to Mars and Venus.
The Indian space agency has already undertaken two successful inter-planetary missions, ‘Chandrayaan-I’ to Moon and ‘Mangalyaan’ to Mars.
CNES could provide support to Isro for the navigation of future moon rovers while the two would jointly work on the models to study Mars and Venus atmospheres, the CNES official said.
The French agency would actively be involved in defining scientific goals and preparatory studies for the future planetary missions of Isro.
CNES would also be supplying on-board scientific instruments for future interplanetary missions to the Moon, Mars and asteroids, reports quoting officials said.
India has been using the French facilities for sending its heavy satellites for the past few decades, especially after the technology blockade following the 1974 nuclear tests.
Venus is Earth’s neighbour just like Mars and more than two dozen missions have been undertaken to explore the planet since the US space probe Mariner 2s flew by Venus on 14 December 1962. But the planet remains an enigma for scientists.
Its surface is shrouded in a perpetual cloud cover and what makes Venus so different from Earth has not been easy to understand.