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Nasa will support Mars mission, claims Isro

BANGALORE: Days of uncertainty notwithstanding, the Indian Space Research Organization (Isro) on Sunday claimed it has received communication from Nasa affirming support for the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM).The space agency, which refused to comment till late on Saturday on whether Nasa had reaffirmed its commitment following the US government shutdown, issued an official communique on Sunday.

“MOM spacecraft is scheduled for launch on October 28, 2013. The launch window remains open till November 19, 2013. The American Nasa/JPL is providing communications and navigation support to this mission with their deep space network facilities. According to the Isro scientific secretary, Nasa/JPL authorities have reaffirmed support for the mission and said the current US government’s partial shutdown will not affect MOM’s schedule,” it stated.

With just 3% of Nasa’s staff working, US support for Isro’s prestigious mission which will cost the Indian space agency about Rs 70 crore, has been a cause of worry. Isro had officially maintained that it “could not comment on whether Nasa is providing help” until Saturday.

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