Mumbai: The Indian Space Research Organisation is carrying out feasibility studies which will look at powering some parts of India's second moon mission, Chandrayaan-II, with nuclear energy. The mission is slated for launch sometime between 2011 and 2012.
According to ISRO chief Madhavan Nair, "We are thinking of powering some parts of Chandrayaan-II with nuclear energy, which will power the spacecraft when it revolves around the dark side of the moon. The safety aspects are being carried out. The project poses many challenges and maximum care has to be taken during the ground-to-orbit phase. To work out the safety issues, we have to work on new technologies and the feasibility studies will help in those.''
A joint Indo-Russian mission, the orbiter of Chandrayaan-II will be designed and developed by ISRO, while Russia will design and construct a lander and rover. The mission envisages landing a rover on the surface of the moon, which will pick up soil samples for chemical analysis.