Press Release

‘Countdown to History’ — USIBC Celebrates India’s Maiden Mission to the Moon

By SpaceRef Editor
October 21, 2008
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‘Countdown to History’ — USIBC Celebrates India’s Maiden Mission to the Moon

With the lights turned low at the prestigious U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with juice and snacks amply distributed among more than a hundred U.S. industry representatives, joined by government leaders from both the United States and India, all eyes looked to the heavens and to the “live video feed” from Sriharikota on the coast of Andhra Pradesh as Chandrayaan I readied for the countdown to begin that would launch India on its first mission to the moon, making history.

The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) for more than a year has been looking forward to celebrating this momentous occasion, as India — host to the fifth most advanced space program in the world — sought to achieve this historic milestone.

India’s Deputy Chief of Mission Ambassador Arun Kumar Singh congratulated India’s scientific community, and commented on the benefits of technology collaboration between all free democracies to pursue discovery in the frontier of space, and how such partnership will facilitate access to technology across all sectors, benefitting all mankind.

Referring to an earlier time, when President John F. Kennedy inspired an entire generation in the 1960s, Ron Somers, President of the U.S.-India Business Council, recalled President Kennedy’s words about the important of space exploration: President Kennedy said ‘It is one of the great adventures of all time…and no Nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race to space.’

Chandrayaan I — as the Indian lunar mission is called — will carry a scientific payload to the moon furnished by NASA and powered by India’s massive Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. A collaboration joining Indian and American scientists, the Chandrayaan I Lunar Mission will enable experts from both countries to answer questions about the moon’s origin and geological development — as well locate resources, including water.

“This unique technology partnership in civil space exploration, which taps India’s highly skilled scientific expertise with American instrumentation furnished by Raytheon, beckons what we hope will be a long and mutually beneficial relationship promoting the opening of the frontier of outer space,” Ron Somers said.

The U.S.-India Business Council, formed in 1975 at the request of the Government of India and the U.S. Government to deepen two-way trade and promote U.S.-India commercial ties, is the premier business advocacy organization representing 280 of the largest U.S. companies investing in India, joined by two dozen of India’s largest global companies. USIBC is hosted under the aegis of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.

SpaceRef staff editor.