Saturday, August 17, 2013

ISRO Chandrayaan-2 will go without Roscosmos

India's follow-up to its highly successful first lunar orbiter, Chandrayaan-2, together with a small remotely-operated rover landed on the Moon by a Russian spacecraft, had previously been delayed to 2013 and 2016 [ISRO/IKI].
P. Sunderarajan
The Hindu

"Chandrayaan 2 was originally envisaged to be a joint mission between ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) and the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos....Following the failure of the Russian-led interplanetary mission, Phobos-Grunt, a sample return mission to Phobos, one of the moons of Mars, the Russian agency reviewed their inter-planetary missions and decided to increase the mass of the moon lander...The Russian agency consequently suggested to ISRO two opportunities for launching of its Chandrayaan 2 rover - either 2015 or 2017 aboard Soyuz, the Russian spacecraft with a rider that the 2015 opportunity could involve mass limitation for the rover and entitle a higher risk....In the wake of these inputs, the ISRO conducted a high level review of the Chandrayaan 2 programme under the chairmanship of Prof. U.R.Rao. The study recommended that India could itself realise a lander module in a few years and that it could go in for the mission on its own."

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