Already looking beyond the impending launch of Chandrayaan 1, a week from today, New Dehli's Economic Times and Srinivas Laxman rounds up ISRO's busy, newly ambitious planned activities from Chandrayaan 2 and beyond:
Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, will build the lunar rover and India plans to launch Chandrayaan 2, based on an agreement signed in 2007 and recently updated, sometime "between 2010 and 2012."
While development of lunar exploration probes takes less time than similar missions to Mars, for example, plans for the Russian re-entry into the New Space Race remain a little vague:
The rover will weigh between 30 and 100 kg, depending on the kind of landing - a hard or soft one - it will execute on the lunar surface . It will have a one-month life span and operate predominantly on solar power.
Keeping in mind the additional payloads in the spacecraft that could increase the launch weight, the rocket for the second mission will be the three-stage Geo-Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). The current version of the rocket can carry payloads of up to two tonnes while the new version - GSLV Mk3 - can fly with payloads weighing four tonnes. The data from the rover will be transmitted to the orbiting spacecraft, which, in turn, will send it to the ground station at Byalalu near Bangalore.