India has completed the design of Chandrayaan-2, its next mission to the moon -- this time in collaboration with Russia -- that would have a lander and rover which can collect samples of the lunar soil and analyse them and send back the data.
"Right now, the design has been completed. We had a joint review with Russian scientists here," Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation, G Madhavan Nair, told PTI.
According to the Bangalore-headquartered space agency, the Chandrayaan-2 mission would have an orbital flight vehicle constituting an Orbital Craft (OC) and a Lunar Craft (LC) that would carry a soft landing system up to Lunar Transfer Trajectory (LTT).
The target location for the lander-rover would be identified using data from instruments of Chandrayaan-1, India's own and first unmanned mission to the Moon launched on October 22 last year.
While ISRO will be developing the orbiter, it will be Russia's job to make the lander and rover. Additional scientific payloads would be acquired from international scientific community.
"Next (now that design has been completed) we will go towards prototype building, which will be taken up next year," Mr. Nair, also secretary in the Department of Space, said.
Mr. Nair said ISRO has learnt plenty of lessons from Chandrayaan-1 mission, particularly on the thermal and redundancy management fronts and would seek to improve systems in Chandrayaan-2, slated towards the end of 2012.
"I think we have got very valuable inputs on the heat radiation from the moon's surface and so on. Accordingly, the thermal design of the future aircraft can be addressed," he said. "Radiation is much beyond our expectations, so we will have to see how the radiation hardening has to be strengthened."
"Then, in redundancy management also, there are some inputs which are available from this (Chandrayaan-1), which we will try to incorporate in Chandrayaan-2."
The ISRO Chairman said contingency operations undertaken by the organisation following the failure of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft's onboard star sensor earlier this year have worked well and "this is (now) as precise as it was earlier."
"We are able to locate the cameras at specific locations," he said noting some of the stereo images that have come recently. "The fact that we were able to point the spacecraft towards the Earth and capture the (recent) solar eclipse, shows the accuracy of the system."
Mr. Nair said 95 per cent of the scientific objectives of Chandrayaan-1 mission have been achieved. "Another five per cent, what's left out, we will try to take up in the next season which is starting in October so that we can complete all the observations."
Mr. Nair said India's ground station at Byalalu on the city outskirts has given precision as good as the NASA station. "We are comparing both the tracking results."
On how the US and Europe, which have flown instruments on board Chandrayaan-1, have taken to the failure of star sensor, Mr. Nair said, "They have got more than sufficient data with them and are extremely happy. Now, Indian and foreign scientists are working together to analyse the data and they have promised some results before the year end." Three-dimensional pictures of the moon would be available soon, he said.
On the agenda for scientists' meet to discuss the Chandrayaan-1 project next month, Mr. Nair said ISRO wants to ensure that it has not "left out anything".
"Today, we know that there is no redundancy on board. So, if further failure...if it happens, then we will be crippled.
"So, all the scientific objectives have to be completed in the remaining time. We will discuss with them what is pending and what needs to be done. Secondly, if some of them have got preliminary findings then we will try to make an assessment."
By Eugene Desiree
Mumbai: Madhavan Nair, ISRO Chief, recently informed that the joint space mission Chandrayaan II would be launched by 2011 and 2012.
The special thing about this space craft is that, it is likely to use nuclear power while revolving around the darker side of the moon.
Currently scientists at ISRO and BARC are conducting research to mitigate the risks associated with this.
Nair told media “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.”
Talking about the risks involved, he stated, “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.”
Russia is looking after the lander and rover while ISRO is preparing the oribiter. The cost of this nuclear rocket would be $2.5 billion.
great news this , now where are the people who were discussing the loss of warmth in indo-russia relations?
i would like to know from members if they can throw some light on this development , is this the first time that parts of an space mission will be actively using nuclear power as its source,
also what kinds of hazzards are we looking at if nuclear power is to be used?
there are 2 sources for rockets in the immediate future to be powered by Nuclear and possibly Ion propulsion(which is slow), we are testing a nuclear powered which may seem new but Russians and Americans have tested these long back but this is still a bold step to implement, there are no restrictions yet on what can be used to power rockets and may not be since it is not a weapon.
I think they are discussing the option of powering the instrument abroad the spacecraft, I don't remember the source but some where I read that, it said that that would be helpful when the instruments would not have excess to solar power, i.e. the side of the moon which do not get sun light. If so then the probable source of power for the space craft should be based on some thing like radioisotope thermoelectric generator,
and if that is the power source the answer to rimser9's question is why not?
New Delhi: India and Russia have finished the design of a second unmanned lunar orbiter to be sent to the Moon in 2011-2012, quoted the Indian Express newspaper.
"Right now, the design has been completed. We had a joint review with Russian scientists here", said Madhavan Nair, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in Bangalore.
Russia is responsible for the design and construction of a lander and a rover, which could collect samples of the lunar soil, analyze them and send the data back to Earth.
The ISRO and the Russian Federal Space Agency signed in November 2007 an agreement to work together on the Chandrayaan-2 project. The work started following the launch of India's first unmanned mission to the moon, the Chandrayaan-1, in October last year.
During the two-year mission, the remote-sensing satellite is expected to create a detailed three-dimensional map of the Moon's surface and investigate its chemical composition. The primary goal is the discovery of water, along with magnesium, aluminum, silicon and titanium, and the radioactive elements radon, uranium and thorium.
Aren' we going to design to design the rover!!! Russians won't give us technology nor are we going to get any good experence in rover design if Russian are going to design the rover. I think we should also design our own rover.