Bangalore: With India's first deep space mission, Chandrayaan-1, already off to a spectacular start, Indian scientists have now initiated discussions with their Russian counterparts on the work sharing arrangements for the Chandrayaan-2 programme.
Chandrayaan-2, a follow up programme to the one currently on its way to the moon, is vastly more ambitious and will feature a lander and a rover.
"Conceptual studies are in place. Overall configuration is finalised but the scientific experiments are yet to be finalised. It may take six months (for finalisation)", ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair informed a news agency in Bangalore.
"The lander will be from Russia. The Russian space agency is cooperating with us. The rover will be a joint development between Russia and India. Many of the scientific instruments (payloads on board Chandrayaan-2) will be from India", Nair said.
The Chandrayaan-2 mission involves a lunar orbiting spacecraft which will eject a lander that will transport a rover to the moon's surface. The rover will collect samples and perform other tasks designed for it.
Chandrayaan-1 project director, M Annadurai, said the Government has approved a Rs425 crore budget for the Chandrayaan-2 venture. He said seed money of Rs50 crore was already in place.
According to Annadurai, India could contribute its expertise even for building the lander. He said work-sharing discussions were in progress with the Russian space agency, Roskosmos.