New Delhi (ISJ) - India would launch its second mission to Moon ? Chandrayaan-2 - on its own without Russian help as planned earlier. This follows the failure of Russian-led interplanetary mission Phobos-Grunt, forcing India to re-jig the schedule of Chandrayaan-2. Russia had promised to provide the Moon Lander, but backed out after the Phobos debacle. ISRO has now decided to develop its own Rover and Landing module.
?The payloads on the Lander will be finalized in due course taking into account the weight, volume and power constraints of the Lander,? said Union Minister V. Narayanasway. He said, development of Rover Module and a few scientific instruments to be flown on the Orbiter and Rover has made good progress.
?Some level of experimental studies for the Moon Lander has also been undertaken at ISRO,? the minister told Rajya Sabha.
The details of changes in the configuration and the mission profile are under finalization. At present, the list of possible payloads considered onboard the Lander also includes seismometer. The payloads on the Lander will be finalized in due course taking into account the weight, volume and power constraints of the Lander.
ISRO and Russia?s federal Space Agency Roskosmos had signed the agreement on joint lunar research and exploration in November 2007. ISRO had the prime responsibility for the orbiter and Roskosmos for the lander and rover with the launch on India?s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) around the 2011-12 time-frame.
The payloads of Chandrayaan-2 were finalised by a National Committee of experts headed by Prof. U.R. Rao, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Space Services and former Chairman of ISRO.
The Committee recommended two scientific payloads on the rover of Chandrayaan-2. Inclusion of additional payloads, if possible within the mission constrains will also be considered at a later date following a detailed review.