The European Space Agency, which had collaborated with ISRO during the Chandrayaan I mission, said it would collaborate more with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for future space missions, close on the heels of ISRO’s successful launch of historic 104 satellites, in one go, last week.
ESA’s Senior Scientific Advisor Mark McCaughrean, told Indian media, “ESA plans further collaboration with ISRO in various space missions. Had an informal discussion with former ISRO chairman UR Rao at Bangalore. The current ISRO chairman, A.S. Kiran Kumar was in a meeting in Delhi that day. Earlier, ESA had collaborated with ISRO on Chandrayaan-1 mission to Moon.”
Already ESA has been collaborating with 22 nations including India, China, Japan, Russia and the US in its space missions and currently, it has about 15 space missions on the cards including the Bepe Colombo to Mercury in 2018 and Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) in 2022.
The Bepe Colombo will be the first space mission to Mercury, which is a joint mission between ESA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). JUICE will make detailed observations of the giant gaseous planet Jupiter and three of its largest moons – Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.
ESA is not exploring the possibility of Missions to Neptune and Uranus as they would take about 20 to 30 years to reach, he said.