First the Americans and the Russians, then the Japanese and Chinese. Now the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has aimed for the Moon. India is now the fifth country to reach the Moon. Yes, the European Space Agency has done it, too, but that is a consortium of 17 countries, though the size of the population is comparable to that of the USA.
The space craft is “Chandrayaan 1”. The name means “Moon Craft” in the ancient Sanskrit” language of India.
What I like is that the Indians, unlike the Chinese and Japanese, have invited other countries to contribute instruments to the probe. More than half of them are Indian, but NASA has two sensors, ESA has three sensors and Bulgaria has contributed a radiation sensor.
Chandrayaan 1 will help create a map of mineral concentrations all over the Moon, paving the way for the decisions on where to send (manned) expeditions to the Moon.
This and other collaborations is what I think has to be done. Space exploration is expensive, and a single country, however rich, cannot afford to go it alone.
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