Bangalore: The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said Wednesday that the configuration of the new moon mission 'Chandrayaan-2' was being finalised and that it would be launched by 2013. Chandrayaan-2 is a joint mission by India and Russia and will consist of a lunar lander that will affect a soft landing on the moon and discharge a rover, which will move about and collect rock and soil samples for chemical analysis.
The data collected by the rover will would then be sent to the lunar orbiter circling above for eventual transmission to Earth.
|Image showing craters of different sizes on the Moon, as seen by the Terrain Mapping Camera of Chandrayaan-1 on 20 July 2009.|
"We are finalising the configuration for Chandrayaan-2. This mission will have an orbiter, which will carry the lander and a rover. The lander will bring the rover to the surface of the moon and during the time it is there, (it) will take some samples to be analysed in the orbiter and back to the earth. In the orbiter we will have certain instruments, we are finalising which are those to be put there. It is about 50 kilograms of mass. There is a scientific team which is looking at the requirements and possibilities and also... from Chandrayaan-1 experiment," ISRO chief Dr K Radhakrishnan said on the sidelines of the launch of a book in Bangalore.
Space scientists are gathered here to consider issues such as colonisation of the moon.
ISRO's new found confidence regarding space projects stems from its successful launch of the Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission in October 2008. Though the mission came to a premature end, it more than met all its mission objectives and was declared an unqualified success by all international space agencies that were a part of it. ISRO received unstinted praise for successfully carrying out a mission that overshadowed similar missions by Japan and China in its technical sophistication.
Chandrayaan-1 allowed India to come into reckoning not only as an Asian space giant but an international one.
Talking about the likely prospects of colonising moon, K KasturiRangan, ex-chief of ISRO, said, "The lunar environment neither has an atmosphere nor a magnetic field, so the radiation from the sun can directly hit us and severely damage our cells, which can cause cancer. So you need to get into areas where you can avoid radiation; therefore, the concept of tunnel came in. We are trying to look at tunnels where one can get in and live. Though virtually from a big civilisation, we will all become cavemen again."
Scientific instruments onboard Chandrayaan-1, including Indian and American, found water molecules all over the moon's surface.