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Indian flag to be 'hoisted' on the moon: ISRO chief


NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian space scientists will hoist the national tricolour on the Moon to mark their presence on the lunar surface, during the two-year mission of Chandrayaan-1 that will be launched on Wednesday.

“Basically, (when) you go to a new territory, we want to establish presence you drop your flag... It (the idea) has been conceived on that line,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman G Madhavan Nair told a news channel.

India will be the fourth country after the US, Russia, and Japan to have its flag on the moon, he said.

India's maiden moon mission is carrying a Moon Impactor Probe (MIP), the brainchild of former President A P J Abdul Kalam, which will detach from the spacecraft and land on the Moon.

“The Indian flag is very much there and it will be on the surface of the moon when it reaches there,” Nair said. The MIP will carry some instruments that will analyse the lunar surface and a camera, which will take closer pictures of the Moon.

“Today, as per the international charter, the Moon belongs to the global community. Nobody can make special claim on the surface. But in due course, we don't know how things will change. But our presence will be established through this mission,” he said.

Nair also said ISRO planned to put a man in space by 2015. “If certain finer observations are to be made, online decisions have to be made, the presence of man becomes important,” he said. A manned mission would cost around Rs.10,000 crore, Nair added.

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