Development of low-cost access to space and "end-uses" such as communications navigation are to be the focus of a five-year, 60-mission programme planned by the Indian Space Research Organisation.
Speaking at the 58th International Astronautical Congress in Hyderabad, ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair stressed the social dimensions of the Indian space programme: "Today, the Indian space technology is used in vital areas like food security, natural resources monitoring, management of environment, tele-education and tele-medicine."
And, he said, ISRO would now focus on developing a low-cost access to space. India's participation in a moon mission slated for 2008 underscores its scientists' enthusiasm for international co-operation and data sharing, to avoid duplicating effort.
Meanwhile, China has expressed interest in linking up with India to develope a constellation of eight microwave earth observation satellites for disaster warning, monitoring and management of natural resources.