asteroid: ISRO chief: India keen on asteroid defence mission | Bengaluru News

Bengaluru: Asserting that no country can develop a planetary defence system against asteroids alone, ISRO Chairman S Somnath on Wednesday said India too wants and deserves to be part of large global missions studying asteroids. Speaking at ISRO's first workshop on planetary protection for students at its headquarters in Bengaluru, he emphasised the need for international cooperation in protecting Earth from potential asteroid impacts. He pointed out that while asteroids pose a potential threat to Earth, they also provide valuable opportunities for scientific exploration. He said the study of asteroids can provide information about the formation of the universe and the origin of life on Earth. Somnath expressed India's interest in participating in global asteroid research and defence initiatives. He suggested that ISRO could contribute to upcoming international missions, such as the one planned to study asteroid Apophis in 2029. He proposed that India could provide instruments or other support to joint missions led by space agencies such as NASA, ESA and JAXA. Highlighting India's growing capabilities in space exploration, Somnath cited recent achievements such as Chandrayaan-3 and the Aditya-L1 solar observatory mission. He particularly mentioned the successful insertion of Aditya-L1 into its halo orbit around the Lagrange point L1, which demonstrates India's ability to carry out complex space maneuvers. He said these achievements reflect India's readiness to take on more challenging missions, including potential asteroid exploration.

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