No threat from visit to Bangalore by Nozette, now arrested for spying: ISRO

      The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on Wednesday clarified there is no threat to the organization due to the arrest of senior American space scientist Daivd Nozette by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US. The FBI arrested the NASA scientist Nozette, 52, on the allegation of spying for Israel on Tuesday. ISRO's Chief Security Officer, Bhaskaran Nair, said Nozette visited ISRO's establishments in Bangalore twice during the Chandrayaan project and interacted with scientists but had no access to critical scientific establishments during the visit. Nair also clarified that there was no concern about loss of data. "There is no threat to ISRO or to Chandrayaan. ISRO has strict security protocols for foreign scientists. Accordingly, Nozette had not been allowed access to critical establishments, as he was not allowed to the clean room. We ensured complete compliance to the protocol. Like any other foreign national, Nozette had no access to critical facilities," Nair said. He added that the NASA has not contacted the ISRO yet, because the US scientist was charged for some other project. During the Chandrayaan project, the NASA raised numerous questions and delayed shipment of the Moon Minerology Mapper and the Mini-Synthetic Aperture Radar (Sar) to Bangalore for testing and integration with the spacecraft. Nozette, a PhD in planetary sciences, was contacted by an FBI undercover employee last month posing as a Mossad officer and invited for lunch at a hotel in Washington DC to part with details about sensitive US satellite data for a sum. Nozette reportedly quoted a price that went into several thousand dollars.

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