'Post-9/11, many Indian scientists left NASA'
Identifying India as a 'big partner' of the US space programme, NASA has applauded the country's efforts in using its space missions for "societal needs."
"I think it's 85 per cent of their budget is spent on what they call societal needs. It's earth science, climate change, those kinds of things, and they still insist that they're going to bring about a human space flight programme, you know, by 2020 or so," NASA Administrator Charles F Bolden said.
Terming India as a big partner of the United States in its space programme, Bolden said. "They (India) want that independent ability, but they still want to partner with us. They came back because they like what we do in terms of earth science and climatology. They like what we do in terms of planetary science. And they want to be a part of that."
Last year in November, NASA's Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite mounted on India's Chandrayaan I got a major success when it discovered significant quantities of ice on the moon surface, paving way for future longer lunar missions.
However, NASA has acknowledged that post 9/11 attacks, many Indian scientists chose to return home as they want to help develop the country's space technology and to live a hassle free life.
"A lot of them are starting to do today is they're going back home. You know, especially Indians. They're saying, why should I go through this hassle? You know, I'm making a lot of money here in the United States, but I can go back to my own country and I can really make a difference. And the amount of money I make, I can live comfortably and I can help raise the status of my country technologically," Bolden said in response to a question.