Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rogozin presses Russian lunar base, Chandrayaan-2 delayed by Proton and Phobos-Grunt investigations

As Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin continues to deployment of a manned base lunar base 'by 2020,' ISRO declines comment on Chandrayaan-2 delay 'until 2016' India's follow-up to its successful first lunar orbiter, together with a small remotely operated rover landed on the Moon by a Russian spacecraft had previously been delayed to 2013 and 2013 [ISRO/IKI].
According to Russian and Indian sources, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin continues to lobby for  a permanent station on the lunar surface "before 2020," calling it an "over-arching task," a "super goal," or очень задача for the Russian state, "stimulating the development of science and industry."

Reports followed an interview recorded on Vesti FM Radio earlier this month.

“Russian cosmonauts learned to work in orbit and gained needed experience there," Rogozin said. "Why shouldn't they try to build a full-scale lunar base to set the groundwork for further leaps in science?”

Indian press reports have covered the interview in context with little more information than previously known about Russia's planned role in Chandrayaan-2. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K. Radhakrishan recently declined comment on reports that the Chandrayaan-2 lunar orbiter, lander and rover mission will now be unavoidably delayed until 2016.

"For Chandrayaan-2, Russia has to provide the lander, and India will build the lunar orbiter and rover," Radhakrishan said. "Russia has said they would come to us with a decision (regarding their grunt-class Luna-Resurs lander) after their reviews.”

Russia is reviewing their inter-planetary missions in light of recent set-backs, particularly following the November failure of Phobos-Grunt  and, more recently, after the failure of Sino-Russian vehicle that was tied to a faulty Proton booster.

The results of at least one such investigation, into the Proton failure, were reported out September 12, according to Anatoly Zak of

Chandrayaan-2 had already been delayed until 2014, planned for launch on India's troubled Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).  Radhakrishnan confirmed ISRO will prepare the booster, the lunar orbiter and rover, but he declined comment on a report from Russia that India’s second lunar mission must be delayed until at least 2016.

Lev Zelyony, head of the Russian Space Research Institute (IKI), said in February the Luna-Resurs lander might not be ready before 2016.

“There were plans to launch the Luna-Glob and Luna-Resurs missions in 2015,” Zelyony told RIA Novosti in February. “But dates may have to be moved, because the NPO Lavochkin-design for the ill-fated Phobos-Grunt vehicle are integral also to Russia's planned unmanned lunar projects and "clearly need to be reviewed.”

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