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India denies space race with China


India's priorities have been in providing societal services using space assets

BANGALORE (BNS): As India gets ready to send its first unmanned mission to the Moon next week, ISRO chief Madhavan Nair has ruled out any space race with China.

Speaking to the media on Sunday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief said the space priorities of India and China were different and there was no competition between them.

Chandrayaan-1, the country's first unmanned lunar venture, is slated for launch on October 22. ISRO is also exploring the possibility of a Mars mission in 2012 and a human space flight by 2015. China undertook a manned orbital flight in 2003 and launched a lunar satellite in October last year. A few weeks ago, China carried out its first space walk.

Ahead of Chandrayaan-1, India's most ambitious space venture to date, some analysts have said that it is an attempt to catch up with China. They also believe that it was a space race involving the two Asian rivals. However, ISRO chairman, who is also the Secretary of the Department of Space, has rejected the view.

“Our priorities have been in providing societal services, based on space assets. We have been concentrating on the Earth observation and communication areas. Launch vehicles which are appropriate for these missions have been developed. That is the way, we have developed technologies and systems required for national development,” he said.

“Now, since we have some breathing time, we are concentrating on planetary explorations and activities which are supposed to be taken up in the next decade. In that context, we are now taking up the proposals for the manned mission and so on,” he added.




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