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Five space researchers from developed countries (Bulgaria, Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom, and US) are competing for the chance to get their experiments onto India's lunar probe, to be launched in September 2007.

The Chandrayaan-1, brainchild of the Indian Space Research Organization, will orbit 100 kilometres above the moon's surface for at least two years.

With other moon missions — Japan in 2006, China in 2007 and NASA in 2008 — beset by uncertainties, the Indian project is looking a much safer bet, and is being welcomed by some as a chance to showcase the country's prowess as a partner in space exploration.

Link to full news story in Science

Reference: Science 306, 222 (2004)

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