The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed an agreement to provide instruments for India’s first Moon probe, Chandrayaan-1. The 525kg (1,150lb) spacecraft is to be launched by India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in 2007-8 and placed into a 100km (60 miles) polar orbit around the Moon.

India, meanwhile, is close to signing an agreement to participate in Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system, says Niles Weller, European Commission director general for energy and transport. India is expected to invest €300 million ($360 million) in the €3 billion project.

Weller says that some of the 30 satellites could be launched by India.

ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair says that Indian and European scientists will share data from ESA instruments that will be on board the Chandrayaan-1.

These will include a low-energy fluorescent X-ray spectrometer and X-ray solar monitor from the UK’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory to measure elemental abundance on the lunar surface; a near-infrared spectrometer from Germany’s Max Planck Institute of Aeronomics to measure lunar mineral elements; and a radiation dose monitor from Bulgaria to measure the particle flux and deposited energy spectrum of primary and secondary particles in lunar orbit.


Source: Flight International