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India plans moon lander mission
February 05, 2007 13:52 IST
Last Updated: February 05, 2007 14:01 IST
After the unmanned moon mission, Chandrayaan-1 early next year, India plans to undertake another mission to the moon -- this time with a proper lander that would land on the lunar surface, India's space agency chief said.
Chandrayaan-1 is planned for launch on board India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.
The 525-kg satellite will be placed in 100 km polar orbit around the moon and it will have a life time of two years.
Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, G Madhavan Nair said Chandrayaan-2, to be undertaken by 2010, will have a proper lander, which would land on the lunar surface and try to explore the surface in far more detail.
Chandrayaan-1 is for mapping applications and this satellite is equipped with remote sensing cameras.
"Chandrayaan-2 will have a lander which would touch down on the lunar surface and pick up samples," Nair told PTI.
Meanwhile, he said the government has given the go ahead to ISRO to undertake detailed study and submit a firm project report on the manned mission to space.
"Study project has been cleared," he said. "We are going into every detail regarding technologies involved...whatever precision needed...what type of human resources we need...all these will be sharply focused. By the end of the year, we will be submitting a firm project report to the government."
About 80 scientists gathered at a meeting convened by ISRO in November last year were unanimous in suggesting that the time was appropriate for India to undertake a manned mission.
The preliminary estimated cost for the manned space mission is Rs 10,000 crore spread over a period of eight years, according to Bangalore-headquartered ISRO.
Nair said ISRO is planning to launch another recoverable satellite next year.
ISRO had, last month, successfully recovered a spacecraft -- Space Capsule Recovery Experiment-1 -- after manoeuvring it to re-enter the earth's atmosphere and descend over Bay of Bengal about 140 km east of Sriharikota.
Later, speaking at an international seminar, Nair said ISRO also plans to have reusable launch vehicle. "It's in the concept stage and by 2020 we should be able to have such a system," he said.