Now that it is official -- two American scientific instruments will fly onboard India's maiden, unmanned moon mission, Chandraayan-I -- I went over to ISRO looking for some pictures of what the spacecraft, named "moon ship," "moon vehicle," "moon vessel," "moon voyage," depending on the translation you're reading)("moon mobile?", "moon buggy?" -- nah) will look like. But all I could find was this image of Mike Griffin in Bangalore yesterday with ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair signing a MoU (I think there were two memoranda, but don't bother looking for that online today, either.)

(By the way, memoranda of understanding are basically statements of policy or intent. They're not legally binding instruments. Which doesn't mean lawyers can't help craft them. But never mind that.)

I agree with folks who find this step between India and the US a good thing. And working together in space with India is not exactly new. As the Department of State affirms in this
fact sheet (March 2, 2006), the "United States and India have been cooperating on space for decades." And in March, the US and India agreed, among other things, to "continue exploring further cooperation in civil space" and "opening up new opportunities for commercial space...." That meant Chandraayan-I and more. (See also this ISRO backgrounder on Indian-US space cooperation.)

शुभ कामनाएँ to Chandraayan-I!

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