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India’s First Lunar Mission Heralds New Cooperation
India is moving into a more active role in the international community of spacefaring nations as its Chandrayaan-1 probe heads toward lunar orbit following a flawless launch Oct. 22.
With the start of its first mission beyond low Earth orbit, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is moving ahead on its joint Chandrayaan-2 robotic lunar lander mission with Russia, and is laying plans for a new $122-million launch complex and astronaut-training facility, pending the expected government approval for a two-seat manned Earth orbiter.