The cat is out of the bag about India’s much heralded indiginous Space Program. A jewsih spy who worked for NASA took the secreats and plans to India and actually worked on India’s Chandrayaan-1 rocket which used a Russia launch vehicle to send the rocket to the moon. Now it FBI has arrested a rocket scientist who sold secrets to India. The extent of the spy scandal with also involves Israel will be kept under close wraps.
The arrest by the FBI of American space scientist Stewart David Nozette for espionage on Monday has cast a shadow over India’s Chandrayaan-I mission Deccan Herald
US Spy Stewart David Nozette Appears To Have Been Paid $225,000 By Israel Aircraft Industries
BANGALORE/MUMBAI: A senior American space scientist arrested by the FBI in the US for allegedly spying for Israel was one of the main investigators of a Nasa scientific instrument Mini-Sar that flew aboard India’s lunar craft Chandrayaan-1. The scientist had visited Bangalore twice and met up with Isro scientists.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday filed a criminal complaint against Nasa scientist Steward David Nozette, 52, for attempted espionage. He is believed to be working for Israeli intelligence.
Isro has said Nozette visited Bangalore and interacted with scientists but had no access to critical Isro establishments during the visits and there was no concern about loss of data.
Isro chief spokesperson S Satish told TOI: “Isro has strict security protocols for foreign scientists. Accordingly, Nozette had not been allowed access to critical establishments. We ensured complete compliance to the protocol. Like any other foreign national, Nozette had no access to critical facilities.”
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 Connecticut Avenue in Washington DC to part with details about sensitive US satellite data for a sum. Nozette quoted a price which went into several thousand dollars.
On Monday, during a sting operation which was video-taped by the undercover FBI officer, Nozette was trapped and arrested.
Nozette’s bio on Nasa’s Mini-RF (Miniature Radio Frequency) project page describes him as the instrument’s principal investigator on the American Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and co-investigator on Mini-Sar on Chandrayaan-1.
Satish confirmed Nozette had visited Isro Bangalore at least twice. “He did have some interactions. Isro officials were constantly accompanying him and ensured security compliance.”
Said a scientist who didn’t want to be identified: “We have interacted with him and we never got an impression of him being a spy. We were not aware of his complete background because the system is such at the moment that we only rely on the passport details of the visiting foreign scientists. What has happened is very very bad and embarrassing and most of us are shocked.”
It may be recalled that when the agreement relating to two Nasa payloads, the Moon Minerology Mapper and the Mini-Sar, were in the process of being firmed between Washington and New Delhi for being flown on Chandrayaan-1, the US administration raised numerous questions and doubts. This considerably delayed the shipment of the two payloads to Bangalore for testing and integration with the main spacecraft.
The Mini-RF project flew two radar instruments — the first one on Isro’s Chandrayaan-1 called Mini-Sar (synthetic aperture radar), which mapped lunar poles, and the second one on Nasa’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Nasa’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper proved the presence of water molecules on Moon. Arrested Nasa spy worked on Chandrayaan project. Prashanth G N & Srinivas Laxman, TNN 21 October 2009, 12:46am IST
The Deccan Herald reports as follows.
Although ISRO has distanced itself from Nozette and has dismissed the arrest as NASA’s internal matter, there is evidence that the scientist, who was spying for the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, was closely involved with India’s moon mission.
A Maryland scientist, Nozette worked for the US defence department, a White House space council and other agencies. He was arrested on charges of passing on classified information to an undercover FBI agent he believed was an Israeli intelligence officer. He was charged in a criminal complaint with attempting to communicate, deliver and transmit classified information. http://www.deccanherald.com/content/31571/us-reveals-isro-moon-mission.html
A Maryland scientist who once worked at the White House and had top secret clearance with the U.S. military has been accused of trying to sell U.S. nuclear weaponry, military spacecraft and satellite secrets to an FBI agent posing as an Israeli spy, prosecutors said. Stewart David Nozette, 52, was taken into custody Monday at his Chevy Chase home. Over the last several weeks, authorities say Nozette accepted $11,000 in exchange for U.S. military secrets that he provided to the undercover agent from memory. For nearly 20 years Nozette had access to some of the country’s best kept secrets, but he lost his security clearance soon after a NASA inspector general began an investigation into a company he ran. Nozette started the nonprofit Alliance for Competitive Technology to help develop advanced equipment for NASA and the Department of Defense, some of which, prosecutors say, he was willing to sell to the Israeli government. Between 1998 and 2008, Nozette provided consulting services to an Israeli aerospace company where he answered questions in return for $225,000, law enforcement authorities said, declining to name the company. On Sept. 3, Nozette was contacted by the undercover FBI agent and discussed his willingness to work with Israeli intelligence, court documents said. He said he would provide information to Israel in exchange for money and an Israeli passport, according to the FBI. Nozette told the agent he no longer had access to classified information, but could recall details from when he had clearance. http://newsfeedresearcher.com/data/articles_w43/nozette-israeli-agent.html#hdng0
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