India and France will Partner on Mars
It's a first ...
On Monday, French President Francois Hollande and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hold talks for several hours and signed several deals. - three of which involved cooperation in space.
Two of those agreements were about Earth observation -- a joint thermal infrared observation mission to be developed sometime in the future, and the implementation of an earlier deal related to a payload to be carried by India's Oceansat-3 satellite.
But the most exciting announcement was the third.
According to India's Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar,France will become India's partner in the next Indian Mission to Mars.
As he announced in a briefing to reporters:
On the space side we did three agreements today. The third one related to France participation in our next Mars mission.
This will be the first cooperative deep space mission between the two countries, and if it's anything like India's first mission to the Red Planet, we are in for a treat.
In 2014, India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan, reached Mars after a 10-month journey. Not only was it done more cheaply than any other Mars mission in history, it was the first time a nation has reached the Red Planet on its first try.
NOTE: The European Space Agency was also successful at its first attempt, but it represents a number of countries, not a single nation.
Source: Sputnik News