ISRO misses a date on website it promised

ISRO misses a date on website it promised

Chandrayaan portal was to be ready by Dec last

Although the lock-in period for the principal investigators to analyse the data collected from 10 payloads ended last December, by when the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had committed to make some of the data public, the organisation is still working through the procedures.

Once made public, the biggest beneficiaries from the data will be those engaged in space exploration and research.

Sometime in September last year, an ISRO statement had said: “People will have ‘free access’ to the huge data obtained from our first moon mission on a dedicated web portal which will be launched by this year-end (2010).”

The dedicated portal will have a catalogue of the data, but specific information will be made available for students and scholars pursuing research in space exploration, the statement had said.

With that deadline past, ISRO spokesperson S Satish told Deccan Herald: “Scientists are analysing the data, once we find something substantial, we will get back to you (public).”
The data, a senior scientist said, had been split into two seasons. The first dealing with data collected from November 2008 to February 2009 and the second from March to August 2009, of this, the first season (about 26 gigabytes of data and images) was to be made public by now, while the second season was to go public by June this year.

According to the source, scientists from various planetary groups are in the process of reviewing the voluminous data, including about 70,000 images beamed by the 10 scientific instruments (five Indian) that the craft had carried into the lunar orbit.

The scientist said the organisation would generate topographical and mineralogical atlases of the moon from the data and a detailed mapping of moon, which he claimed would help generate better research possibilities.

The atlas will contain the latitude, longitude, colours of areas, ice water, minerals and terrain from the sheets of topography in the data available.

The portal will have the data on chemical and mineral mapping, high resolution three-dimensional (3-D) mapping and topographical features of the earth’s satellite.

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