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Moon mission likely in October, says ISRO
August 06, 2008 20:34 IST
India's [Images] ambitious unmanned lunar mission `Chandrayan' is likely to soar into the skies in the second week of October, Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman G Madhavan Nair said on Wednesday.
"The satellite integration is almost complete. And we would be entering the thermovac in about a week's time. It takes about 45-50 days for the launch after thermovac, after which we would declare the date. The earliest is October," he said.
The climatic conditions were favourable in October, but ISRO has to look at the appropriate alignment between planets before deciding on the launch window, he said.
"We do not have the flexibility of launching the mission on any date," he added.
"The payloads have been integrated at the satellite centre in Bangalore...you can see the full spacecraft there," Nair said about the Rs 3.8 billion unmanned mission.
He also said that India had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Russia [Images] for the Chandrayan 2 project, which will have an Orbiter that would go around the moon and a Lander or Rover which would collect samples from moon's surface after landing on it.
"We hope to achieve this mission by 2011-12," he said.
On India's manned mission to the moon, he said ISRO would set into motion building of a capsule for this purpose, the project report for which was awaiting government approval.
"It is going with good speed. Soon, the process will be completed," he said.
On opening up the Indian space industry for private players, Nair said, "we are open, our policy allows that. But not many players are prepared to invest such a large sum in space."
About the demand for ISRO's KU transponders for Direct-to-Home services, Nair said all of them had been sold out, with new requests pending with the ISRO.
"Two satellites will be carrying more KU transponders soon," he said.
Speaking on engineering institutes' request for ISRO's help in building micro and nano satellites, he said requests by various institutions including the IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Mumbai and Satyabama University in Chennai were being assessed by the agency.
ISRO and Satyabama University would jointly organise a three-day international conference on Emerging Scenarios in Space Technology and Applications-2008, in Chennai from November 13, University Chancellor Jeppiaar said.