Chandrayaan II


Senior Member
Nov 25, 2009
Chandrayaan-2 Program updates

Chandrayaan-2, India's next shot to the moon has come a long way since the project was first conceptualized back in first half of this decade. Although some payloads have already been finalized the process is expected to be fully completed in 2 months time. ISRO has had thousands of payload proposals from different countries on the table, from which it will have to finalize the payloads. Afterall the orbiter can accommodate only 50 kg of scientific payload.

The total weight of Chandrayaan-2 at launch will be 2457 kg, this including the lander and the orbiter. The orbiter and lander will be connected by an inter module adapter. The mass of the orbiter will be 1317 kg, of which 830 kg will be propellant for the orbiter and 487 kg will be the actual dry mass of the orbiter. Of 487 kg dry mass of the orbiter, the actual scientific payloads will weigh 50 kg. Only 10 kg of payload space will be open to international space agencies for their payloads.

Now, for the most exciting part. ISRO has gone ahead with the plant soft-land the rover on the lunar surface. The rover will be inside the rover-module of the lunar lander. As explained above the lander will be connected to the orbiter at launch. The total mass of the lander will be 1100 kg.

Out of the 1100 kg lander, 680 kg will be the propellant used for thrusters on the lunar-lander for soft landing. On the lunar surface the lander will weigh 420 kg including the rover and rover-module. Once the lander has landed on the lunar surface the 2 rovers, one Russian and another India will then emerge from the rover-module onto the surface of the moon.

Many of the scientific instruments on the lander/rover have already been finalized. The rover will drill into the lunar soil and obtain samples for analysis. The Regolith Evolved Gas Analyzer (REGA) and Mass Spectrometer will analyze the composition of Lunar soil. Two instruments, a Tunable Diode Laser and a Laser Induced ion Mass Spectrometer will look for the presence of water in the polar shadowed region of the moon.

Presently, ISRO is on-schedule for a 2013 launch of Chandrayaan-2. Chandrayaan-2 will be the stepping stone for a lots of things that in the future that ISRO already has planned for.


Senior Member
Jun 29, 2009
Tubular structures on lunar surface, ideal landing sites

Terrain Mapping Camera on-board Chandrayaan-1 revealed such a formation in the Oceanus Procellarum area

Remnant tubular structures or tunnel-like formations from lunar volcanic flows in the past, which extend a couple of kilometres on the moon’s surface, could serve as ideal landing as well as human settlement sites for future missions, including Chandrayaan-II, according to some new findings from India’s Chandrayaan-1.

These findings were reported on Monday at the Sixth Chandrayaan-1 Scientific Meeting being held at the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) here.

Data from the Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC), one of the Indian instruments on-board the spacecraft, has revealed one such volcanic tube in the Oceanus Procellarum area of the moon (central longitude 58.317 deg. W and latitude 14.111 deg. N).

The remnants of volcanic tubes on the moon whose roofs have capsized and a trench or valley is created are called a rille system, which is a groove or long narrow depression on the lunar surface. The volcanic tube identified by the TMC comprises two cobra hood-shaped rilles, the longer one measuring 3.65 km in NE-SW direction and the smaller one measuring 0.73 km.

The interesting feature is that these rilles seem connected by an intermediate stretch of a two km-long and 360-metre-wide uncollapsed portion (see picture), which seems to be the roof of the lava tube that did not collapse for some reason, said A. S. Arya of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, who described the findings at the meeting.

More significantly, the uncollapsed part is very close to the surface, only 160 metre below. Its hollow interiors could be safe spots for lunar habitation, or even parking lunar landers for protection from the harsh impacts of interplanetary material, meteorite showers, solar wind and radiation.

“For future missions aimed at creating permanent base stations and human settlements on the moon, there is a need to identify such locales that have survived the onslaught of the past impacts and would provide safe shelters to human beings on the moon,” Dr. Arya said.

For instance, the Japanese mission Kaguya discovered a vertical hollow structure, but that is not suitable for habitation, Dr. Arya said. In a horizontal tubular structure, however, any lunar vehicle can just move along the rille into the tunnel structure for safe parking.

But the TMC findings could even become the starting point for identifying suitable locations for immediate missions such as Chandrayaan-II, which plans to land two lunar rovers, said M. Annadurai, Project Director, Chandrayaan-1 and Chandrayaan-II. Chandrayaan-II has set itself the ambitious goals of sustaining the two rovers in the harsh lunar environment for as long as six months. All previous missions have landed in the sunlit area and have not been able to survive beyond a few weeks.

“We need to see how Chandrayaan-1 data can be used from an engineering point of view in terms of site terrain information and soil interactions to know where to land our rovers from this perspective,” Dr. Annadurai said.

Like Chandrayaan-1, its follow-up mission, which is likely to be flown during 2012-13, will also focus mostly on the higher lunar latitudes, Dr. Annadurai said.

“From an engineering point of view, we need to look at the rovers spending longer night hours. For optimal power utilisation, they will function in hibernation mode when there is no sunlight for generating power,” he said.

“So a suitable site could be the edge of some crater or a site near such volcanic tubes where they can retreat for hibernation. But a cross comparison of data from different Chandrayaan-1 experiments can tell us much more than just the TMC data. And such a trend has been evident at this meeting.”

With Russia already part of the project, Chandrayaan-II is also likely to have international collaboration, especially with all the principal investigators of the various experiments keen on carrying the work forward by collaborating among themselves in the future.


House keeper
Senior Member
Feb 16, 2009
Country flag
Wednesday 10 February, 2010.

NASA, ESA want to be part of Chandrayaan-II mission: ISRO

NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) want to be part of Chandrayaan-II, the next Indian mission to Moon, by sending their instruments, ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said in Bangalore on Thursday.
Replying to a query whether NASA and ESA have sent proposals to ISRO to be part of Chandrayaan-II, expected in 2012 or 2013, by sending their instruments, Radhakrishnan told reporters, "They are all there actually (they have sent proposals)."

NASA and ESA are among "several candidates" who have evinced interest in Chandrayaan-2, he said.

"There is discussion going on that...And there is a team which is discussing with various scientists... Scientific Advisory Board. You look at all the requirements and what experiments we need to do and what mass is available and what they would require and from Chandrayaan-I, what are all the things that you have to follow up. This will be taken care of soon," he said.

India had hosted six foreign instruments in its maiden moon odyssey Chandrayaan-I -- three from ESA, two from NASA and one from Bulgaria. Chandrayaan-I carried India's five instruments.

Chandrayaan-I was launched in October 2008, but the mission was abandoned in August last year when the spacecraft lost radio contact.

Bangalore-headquartered ISRO said the venture had met more than 90 per cent of it scientific objectives. The highlight of the mission was finding of water on the moon's surface by a NASA instrument on board.

However, Radhakrishnan indicated that the number of instruments on board Chandrayaan-II is likely be less than the one carried by Chandrayaan-I, which had 11.

"In Chandrayaan-II, there is a lander and a will take the bulk of the mass. So for other instruments we have a limited space," he said.

ISRO said the lander and the rover would be tasked to collect samples of the lunar soil, analyse them and send back the data.

Towards this, India and Russia have signed an MoU for joint development of lunar rover and robotic arms to be developed in the Chandrayaan-II mission. (RBY-04/03)


Senior Member
Oct 5, 2009
ISRO reviewing few PRL proposals for Chandrayaan-2 mission

AHMEDABAD (PTI): Some of the proposals of Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) for the Chandrayaan-2 mission are under final review by ISRO's scientific advisory board, a top PRL scientist has said.

"PRL has submitted few proposals for Chandrayaan-2 mission including the ones for rover and orbiter. Some of the proposals are now under final phase of review by the scientific advisory board (of ISRO)," PRL Chief Prof J N Goswami told PTI on Saturday.

PRL, located in the city, is the basic science research branch of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The launch vehicle for Chandrayaan-2 mission is proposed to carry a lander along with a motorised rover besides an orbiter, Goswami said.

When Chandrayaan-2 lands on lunar surface, the motorised rover will detach from the lunar orbiter.

The proposed rover shall move on lunar surface to collect rock and soil samples, he said, adding so far the scientific advisory body has reviewed around 30 proposals on scientific payloads for the mission.

"The scientific advisory board is considering about 30 proposals on different type of scientific payloads to be carried during Chandrayaan-2 and is expected to finalise in next few months which centre of ISRO will develop what payload," according to a senior PRL scientist.

"Once the proposals on scientific payloads for the missions are cleared by the Scientific Advisory Board, they shall also be discussed with the Advisory Committee for Space," Goswami said.

PRL had developed the scientific payload called High Energy X-ray spectrometer (HEX) for Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft in collaboration with the ISRO satellite centre of Bangalore.

The instrument was capable of sensing emission of X-rays from 'heavy' elements that were radioactive, and more importantly in spotting presence of water in polar areas of the moon.

Chandrayaan-1 mission was successful in finding evidence of ice on the moon, besides discovery of water there.

The purpose of country's second mission on moon will be to further enhance data collection in this connection, a PRL scientist said.

Evidence of proper deposits of ice in polar areas of moon were found by Chandrayaan-1, he added.


Founding Member
Regular Member
Feb 17, 2009
Rocket launch failure will not delay moon mission: ISRO chief

Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh), April 15 (IANS) The failure of India's GSLV-D3 rocket launch powered for the first time by an indigenous cryogenic engine will not delay the realization of the country's second moon mission, ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan said Thursday.

'If we are able to flight test an indigenously built cryogenic engine in a year's time, then Chandrayaan 2 can be realised by 2013,' Radhakrishnan told reporters post the launch here.

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Development 3 rocket plunged into the Bay Bengal after its cryogenic engine failed to ignite, in a setback to India's space programme.

ISRO's Rs.330 crore-mission failed minutes after the rocket lifted off at 4.27 p.m.

ISRO had earlier announced its plans to use its GSLV rocket for its second moon mission.

Referring to the failed rocket flight he said: 'The rocket lifted at 4.27 p.m after the 29-hour countdown that began Wednesday 11.27 a.m. The rocket performed as expected till the second stage into the flight.

'We were not sure whether the main cryogenic engine – the third stage – did ignite as the vehicle started tumbling. We have to confirm that after analysing the data which is expected to get over in two or three days.'

He said that while the cryogenic engine when tested on ground got ignited, during flight it had failed to get fired in vacuum.

The setback is serious as the rocket's cryogenic engine is an outcome of 18-years' labour on the part of ISRO scientists, spending around Rs.335 crore.

Queried how far the failure would put back ISRO's clock, he said: 'We have plans to realise 11 GSLV rockets. We have been fabricating necessary systems.'

According to him, ISRO will bounce back within a year by launching a rocket powered by indigenously developed cryogenic engine.

He said ISRO will be flying two more GSLV rockets fitted with Russian-made cryogenic engines to launch two GSAT series satellites.

'The next GSLV rocket with Russian cryogenic engine will fly from here sometime in September this year,' he said.

On the issue of sourcing cryogenic engines from outside, he said: 'The primary issue is to be self reliant in rocket technology. Today we are able to realise a cryogenic engine for Rs.36 crore whereas if procured from overseas the price will be around $20 million or Rs.90 crore.'

According to him, GSLV is working to bring down the launch cost, which currently is around $20,000 per kilo of payload.

'We should bring down the cost to $10,000 per kilo once we realise GSLV Mark III (the advanced version of GSLV rocket),' he said.

Speaking of other launches, he said a cartography satellite will be flown on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) next month along with a couple of small satellites as co-passengers
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The southern Man
Senior Member
Jul 15, 2009
Country flag
Russia to develop lander for Chandrayaan-II

Russia will develop a lander that will ferry a rover to explore the moon's surface as part of the Chandrayaan-II mission, slated for launch in 2013, project director of Chandrayaan-I and II M. Annadurai said on Sunday. "The GSLV will be the launch vehicle for Chandrayaan-II and the prime responsibility of realising the lander is Russia's. The rover, to be realised by us [Indian Space Research Organisation], will carry out in situ probe on the moon's surface. We will also develop the scientific instruments to go around with it," Mr. Annadurai told The Hindu after delivering the keynote address at the graduation ceremony of B. Tech and MBA students, organised by the Toc-H Institute of Science and Technology (TIST), Arakkunnam, near here.

"Unlike Chandrayaan-I, whose moon-impact probe did a hard-landing on the moon, the lander ferried by the Chandrayaan-II orbiter to soft-land on the moon's surface would be about 1,200 kg. While the rover interface would be done by us, the lander interface with the rover would be developed by Russia," he said.


Asked if the ISRO had finalised the payload proposals from countries for Chandrayaan-II, he said the Science Advisory Board was looking at the overall aspects, including reusability, and would soon come out with a decision. The payloads carried by Chandrayaan-II would not be as many as Chandrayaan-I. "The purpose of Chandrayaan-I was to understand what the entire moon contained. But now, the effort would be to understand it in situ. Originally, we wanted to have chemical-mineral analysis, but now that Chandrayaan-I has shown us traces of water on the moon's surface, the emphasis could also be on confirming the finding," he said.

The data pertaining to Chandrayaan-I was still under analysis. "Overall, each of Chandrayaan-I's instruments has given enough data, meeting the overall science goals of the mission. The daytime mapping camera, laser ranging instrument, or even foreign instruments like the moon image mapper or the mini-SAR [Miniature Synthetic Aperture Radar] have all given us ample data. For instance, regarding mini-SAR, we have completed study of data pertaining to the North Pole of the moon. Analysis of data concerning the South Pole is still going on," said Mr. Annadurai.

Rover's life

The rover's life would be about a few weeks. Prior to the launch, the ISRO would study its movement on a simulated terrain of the moon. "It has to operate at one-sixth of the earth's gravity. Although we will not be able to simulate the atmospheric conditions, we very much want to see how the rover moves on a surface with very less friction," he said.

Earlier, Mr. Annadurai gave away certificates to B.Tech and MBA graduates at TIST. R.M. Vasagam, Pro-Chancellor of Dr. MGR Deemed University, Chennai, delivered a special address. TIST president P.J. Joseph presided over the function. TIST Principal V. Job Kuruvila welcomed the gathering


Regular Member
Oct 12, 2009
In the above article in strange is one aspect..The Rover. Earlier there were talks that Chandrayaan-2 will have 2 rovers. One russian and one Indian. Now there is no mention of the Russian rover. Only the lander part is mentioned.


Senior Member
Oct 5, 2009
Nasa sidelining India's moon men?

MUMBAI: Has the path-breaking discovery of water on the moon by Chandrayaan-1 robbed Indian scientists of their due? Some Indian lunar scientists feel that their role has been completely sidelined by their American counterparts, who were also a part of the Rs 386-crore lunar mission.

The discovery was done by three instruments on board Chandrayaan-1. These were the CHACE (Chandra's Altitudinal Composition Explorer), one of the three payloads of the indigenous Moon Impact Probe (MIP), the Moon Minerology Mapper (M3) and Mini-Sar, both belonging to NASA.

Last year, on September 25, Madhavan Nair, who was then chairman of ISRO, declared at a hurriedly-convened media meet in Bangalore that the MIP had detected water on the moon. According to him, the India-made probe, a brainchild of former president A P J Abdul Kalam, picked up the signals about the presence of water during its 25-minute flight to the moon on the night of November 14, 2008.

However, subsequently, there has been a huge debate as to who attained the breakthrough first — India or the US? Documents made available to TOI show that the MIP was activated on November 14, 2008, the Mini-Sar started functioning 72 hours later on November 17 and the M3 became operational on November 22, eight days after the landing of the MIP on the moon. It became fully active on December 17, 2008.

According to the Indian scientists, who declined to be identified, fearing repercussions on the job front, the sequence of events proves that it was the Indian MIP that made the discovery first. Despite this, they regret, NASA has walked away with the prize and no effort has been made by India to straighten out the facts.
"The 10-month delay in announcing our discovery has proved dear," remarked a scientist.

Nair justified this delay saying that since MIP's was only a 25-minute flight on November 14, 2008 — from 8.06 pm to 8.31 pm — ISRO did not want to rush to publicise its achievement without a proper analysis of the data.

But India's part in the discovery of lunar water continues to be downplayed. In a podcast organized by NASA's Lunar Science Institute titled Water on the Moon on April 29, there is no mention of the role played by the CHACE payload on board the MIP, designed and developed at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre's Space Physics Institute at Thiruvanathanapuram. The entire credit has gone to NASA.

Last week TOI emailed a questionnaire to Carle Pieters, principal investigator of M3, seeking her comments, but there was no response.

A top scientist connected with the Chandrayaan mission, Syed Maqbool Ahmed, who was the project manager of the CHACE payload, declared openly last week on a website called '365 Days Of Astronomy':
"Our results were rejected by Science journal in March 2009 and Nature in August 2009. Now they have appeared in Planetary and Space Sciences, which is a British journal."

In another comment on the website of the US Planetary Society, he spoke about the agony of waiting till March 2010 to get recognition. "Maybe it was a price we had to pay for not being frontrunners in the field of space."


Senior Member
Nov 25, 2009
Chandrayaan-2 launch as scheduled: ISRO chief

Despite technical snags in the indigenous cryogenic engine that powered the Geo-stationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV, which was flight-tested in April, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is expected to launch Chandrayaan-2 on an indigenous cryogenic engine on schedule by 2013, ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan said here on Tuesday.


New Member
Jul 20, 2010
Chandrayaan-II, we expect to have the year 2013. Right now, we should have our Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle flight with the indigenous cryogenic engine stage. It is the objective with which we work said by the Radhakrishnan.It rover will move on wheels on the lunar surface, collect samples of soil or rocks, do chemical analysis and send the data to the spacecraft orbiting above.


Senior Member
Nov 25, 2009
Chandrayaan-2 payloads to be decided next month

Bangalore: The mission goal of India's second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, will be clearer next month when a meeting will decide upon the payloads, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) director S.K. Shivakumar, said here on Monday.

A meeting here on August 3 would finalise Chandrayaan-2's scientific instruments, which together would weigh between 30 and 35 kg, said Dr. Shivakumar in a lecture on "Chandrayaan-Deep Space Network," organised by the Institute of Engineers.

"The payloads are currently going through the process of short-listing," he said.

Dr. Shivakumar said the probe would "take forward" some of the accomplishments of Chandrayaan-1, which had famously established the presence of water on the moon.

Chandrayaan-2, scheduled for a 2012 launch, would have an Indian-made orbiter and rover (to move on the moon's surface and collect soil samples), and a Russian lander.

Three-dimensional map

The data collected from Chandrayaan-1 continued to be analysed and a three-dimensional map of the lunar surface was being created with information received from the Terrain Mapping Camera, one of its 11 payloads, Dr. Shivakumar said.

Retracing the origins of ISRO's ambitious Indian Deep Space Network established in Byalalu (on the outskirts of Bangalore), Dr. Shivakumar said its giant 32-metre antenna had tracked the European Space Agency's missions to Venus and Mars.

"All calculations show that the antenna will successfully track India's Mars mission," he added.


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
India, Russia squeeze Google Moon racers

By Peter J Brown

Government space agencies are taking a closer look at the Google Lunar X Prize (GLXP) competition, an international competition to safely land a rover on the moon. Several GLXP teams include space researchers and engineers in Asia on their rosters. And the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is rolling out a program that might provide US GLXP teams with a total of over US$30 million. Other countries may not sit still for long in light of this development.

That is the good news. The not so good news is that as the result of a proposed GLXP rule change, the $20 million GLXP grand prize could be reduced by $5 million if a government-backed lunar mission successfully lands and deploys a rover in advance of any of the 21 GLXP teams accomplishing the same feat. All GLXP

teams must be 90% privately funded.

According to the original set of GLXP rules, the grand prize would be awarded to the GLXP team that first landed a rover on the Moon and which was able to travel at least 500 meters while simultaneously transmitting data and video - a live high-definition TV signal - back to Earth. The deadline was December 31, 2012. If that objective was not achieved, a GLXP team could still win a reduced grand prize of $15 million if it fulfilled all requirements by December 2014.

Now, under the proposed so-called GLXP "Master Team Agreement" (MTA), revised rules, including the $5 million cut described above, are taking shape. All remaining prizes, including a $5 million second prize and several bonus prizes, will be unaffected. The 2012 deadline is gone, with the competition now ending on December 31, 2015. However, this deadline may be extended by the California-based X Prize Foundation (XPF).

It is no secret that several countries as well as the European Space Agency (ESA) are planning to conduct lunar landings over the coming decade. The joint Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)-Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission involving the deployment of a lunar rover on the Moon in 2012 appears to be the first in line.

"Almost every space agency is talking about missions to the lunar surface these days. Putting fixed calendar dates on them is very difficult, though," said William Pomerantz, senior director of space prizes at the XPF. "We are excited about and are following along with the developments on several: [Besides Chandrayaan -2] China's Chang'e 3, Japan's Selene 2, Russia's Luna-Glob, the ESA's MoonNEXT, a variety of potential NASA robotic missions, and possibly the UK's MoonLite, along with various nodes of the proposed International Lunar Network."

Some of these missions may never come to fruition, and others will likely be combined with one another or with other missions yet to be discussed.

"At this point, it's difficult to say with certainty which will be which," said Pomerantz

The sequence in motion today calls for the Chandrayaan-2 mission to be followed quickly by China's Chang'e 3 lunar rover mission and then Japan's Selene-2 mission - not to be confused with Team Selene, currently China's only GLXP team.

"Chang'e 3 is scheduled for launch in 2013. It is a bigger problem than Selene 2, which will be launched in 2015," said Nikolay Dzis-Voynarovskiy, chief executive officer (CEO) of Moscow-based Team Selenokhod, the only Russian GLXP team. "Our team's original intention was to purchase the same lunar lander from Lavochkin Association which the Indian-Russian lunar mission will use."

While those plans have now changed, Dzis-Voynarovskiy is a bit nervous about how Chandrayaan-2 might impact his team in other ways.

"If the Chandrayan-2 mission is successful then our project will become less attractive to investors and sponsors because of smaller public interest with comparable price. The only way to maintain its attractiveness for investors is to drastically reduce mission costs by using absolutely new technologies, management techniques and so on. This is the biggest challenge," said Dzis-Voynarovskiy.

Alabama-based Team FREDNET, the Open Space Society, ranks as one of the more multinational teams in the competition. The non-profit corporation includes several participants from India and Sri Lanka, according to CEO Fred Bourgeois.

"Anything that sparks public interest in returning to the Moon is a good thing," said Bourgeois.

While he finds some of the proposed GLXP rule changes to be acceptable, he has deemed the $5 million cut as "most definitely unacceptable". "In particular, changing the amount of the prize as a consequence of a government reaching the Moon first is completely unacceptable. The point of the GLXP is to incentivize private investment in lunar and space development," said Bourgeois.

"Asking teams to compete with governments with their virtually limitless ability to print and spend money is clearly not a fair competition, and absolutely dis-incentivizes private innovation and competition."

Bourgeois has his supporters, including those who belong to other teams. Randa Milliron, CEO of Team Synergy Moon, for example, is perhaps even more agitated by this development.

She also serves as CEO of California-based Interorbital Systems and Trans Lunar Research. Team Synergy Moon, which is headquartered at the Mojave Spaceport includes Sayandeep Khan, a native of West Bengal - he is now attending Jacobs University in Bremen - who is developing scientific applications for Team Synergy Moon's lunar rover. Milliron had just returned from delivering a speech at the annual Small Satellite Conference in Utah.

"We intend to immediately protest the wording of the document. Many of us were completely unaware of it. The rationale for such a scheme is flawed - it is in complete contradiction to the original commercial nature of the prize," said Milliron. "Reducing the prize by $5 million because of a 'win' by a single or multi-state lunar venture - which would obviously have enjoyed comparatively unlimited government funding - is a slap in the collective face of all teams engaged in what was supposed to be a private-sector venture. I can only hope it was something accidentally left in a draft document."

Pomerantz emphasizes that above all else, GLXP rules are written in such a way that they provide an extra incentive to teams to conduct their missions soon by having a $5 million change in the grand prize value at some point during the competition.

"Rather than pegging that change to an arbitrary date on a calendar, we have tied it to the milestone of a government-funded mission exploring the surface," said Pomerantz. "Hopefully, this will be fun for the public following the prize, but the real reason we did this is that timelines of government-funded missions are likely to be at least somewhat impacted by the same global economic trends that will affect our teams."

While Bourgeois seems passionate, he is also reasonable, and does not seek to cast the competition in a negative light. In other words, he will accept the rule change if four specific conditions are met. Firstly, not only must the qualifying government lunar mission complete all the strict GLXP requirements, but its total expenditure also must not exceed the total value of the GLXP's "prize purse" of $30 million.

Bourgeois also wants the qualifying government's lunar mission to "specifically state that the intent of said qualifying government mission is to complete all requirements of the GLXP competition before any GLXP registered team". He wants all relevant media and media rights to be properly assigned and distributed, and, the same logo constraints applied that are imposed on the registered teams.

The biggest challenge facing Team FREDNET is funding, yet the team continues to make progress. It already has operational so-called "PicoRovers" in Spain and the US, and has partnered with the Air and Space Education Consortium of Broward College in Florida "to develop models and electronics systems for use in multiple mission stages". Work has commenced on mission conceptual designs as well as a lunar lander, and several successful high-altitude balloon tests of various mission components - as a prelude to space-qualification have taken place in Spain

"Team FREDNET is actively working to develop formal partnerships with several major universities, and pursuing launch opportunities with multiple providers," said Bourgeois.

The recent rule changes that concern Markus Bindhammer, leader of Team Selene based in Shanghai, involve insurance and mobility.

"Some GLXP rule changes are not acceptable for us. For

example, we are indirectly responsible for one significant rule change involving mobility. In April 2009, we announced our so-called spiral lunar lander/rover concept. At the time, this concept was allowed under the 2008 GLXP rules," said Bindhammer. "A short time later, after the 2009 GLXP team summit, the GLXP mobility rules were revised so that, in effect it ruled out our spiral rover/lander concept."

Bindhammer has forged a strong relationship with the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and worked closely with the School of Aeronautics at Beihang University.

Effective and even aggressive partnering will play an important role in the outcome of this competition. Andrew Barton, who leads the Netherlands-based Team White Label Space, for example, has devoted considerable time and energy to team-building. He is not really concerned by the impact of government missions. Like Milliron, Barton was unaware of the proposed $5 million cut until Asia Times Online brought it to his attention.

"The GLXP is not competing directly with government programs, nor should it. GLXP is a parallel effort, and it will actually benefit government space programs. Equally the efforts of governments can benefit the efforts of GLXP teams who are able to access the technologies," said Barton.

The pattern to date strongly suggests that any government moon-landing missions in the time frame of GLXP will involve development efforts for some of the more difficult technologies and systems.

"Normally, when government agencies finance space technology, the development work is done by industry, and industry also retains the intellectual property," said Barton. "Thus, in principle, GLXP teams should be able to partner with the companies involved in a government mission and this could reduce the costs and risks for investors and sponsors of a GLXP mission."

In the case of the joint Chandryaan-2 mission, attention must be paid to the fact that the Russians will provide the lander for the mission.

"They will not need to develop many new technologies since they already executed a number of successful moon landings during the 1960s and 1970s using what appears to be the same lander design. Thus, the biggest potential impact on GLXP will be the new moon rover technologies to be developed in India," said Barton.

He sees signs that the pace of lunar exploration is picking up considerably on a global basis.

"ESA has its own lunar lander project currently in Phase B and due for launch late in this decade. Also, NASA is trying to get funding for a lunar lander under the recently announced 'xScout' missions," said Barton. "China has not released such detailed plans, although it has expressed a long-term interest in human lunar landings which would probably require a program of robotic precursors."

Team White Label Space formed a partnership two years ago with Tohoku University's Department of Aerospace Engineering. Headed by professor Yoshida Kazuya it is one of world's leading robotic research organizations. Among other things, not only has Japan recently approved year-round launches at two facilities where prior longstanding restrictions prevented this from happening, but the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) opened the door to several recent "piggyback" launch opportunities for micro-satellites in 2009.

"Such increased opportunities to access space will expand the number of private, and even academic players. Access to the Moon is somewhat different and more difficult, but it will be great if we can get piggyback flight opportunities to the Moon," said Yoshida.

So far, Yoshida has launched seven piggyback payloads, including six non-government satellites created by universities and private companies, all of which were launched in 2009. There was also a university payload known as Unitec-1 which was launched toward Venus with JAXA's "Akatsuki" Venus probe in 2010.

Barton describes Japan's massive H-IIA launcher as "not on our short list right now, mainly for reasons of cost".

"However, if the Japanese government decides to provide us with some financial support to reduce the price of an H-IIA launch, it might change the situation," said Barton. "Such support is permitted under the GLXP rules, so long as the total government contribution does not exceed 10% of the total mission cost. In that case, the change to 12-months operations at the Tanegashima launch facility in particular would certainly give us extra flexibility in our mission."

The Japanese government has initiated discussions which intend to promote lunar missions over the next 20 years including unmanned landing and robotic precursor missions by 2020, and the first manned mission by 2030.

"The Selene 2 mission - Japan's first lunar landing and rover mission - will not happen earlier than 2013. This means that the private GLXP teams might perform some basic rover tasks on the Moon earlier than the Japanese government's project. Private space mission initiatives such as GLXP will certainly impact government missions, rather than being impacted by them," said Yoshida.

JAXA is not alone in terms of exhibiting a shift in the wind that might affect GLXP teams. In early August, NASA's Lunar Lander Project Office started reaching out to the private space sector including GLXP teams by declaring that it will be purchasing, "specific data resulting from industry efforts to test and verify vehicle capabilities through demonstrations of small robotic landers. The purpose is to inform the development of future human and robotic lander vehicles."

Specifically, NASA is seeking, "information about the design and demonstration of an end-to-end lunar landing mission. This includes data associated with hardware design, development and testing; ground operations and integration; launch; trajectory correction maneuvers; lunar braking, burn and landing; and enhanced capabilities."

Furthermore, NASA seeks "information related to landing using a human mission profile; identification of hazards during landing; precision landing; and imagery and long-duration surface operations." Contracts totaling approximately $30 million through 2012 are planned. [1]

This news from NASA has certainly excited other US-based teams including Team Micro-Space, Team Next Giant Leap and Team Astrobotic - Astrobotic Technology Inc is a Carnegie Mellon University spin-off company - because this calls for NASA to spend as much as $1.5 million for any vital data derived from advance work including simulations done on the ground, that is, well before a US GLXP team actually pushes the launch button.

Will any new GLXP teams emerge in Asia? If this is going to happen, it better happen fast because the registration deadline for new teams is December 31, 2010.

"The registration fee has grown from the original $10,000 to the current $50,000 over time. Note that $50,000 is on the order of one tenth of one percent of the total mission cost for most teams," said Pomerantz. "There may be new teams forming in Asia, but none that have begun the registration process. We do not expect too many new teams, although we are tracking a few organizations that we know are considering it. Actually, we already have far more teams than we ever expected: our initial expectation was that we would get at most a dozen competitors."


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
Race to launch Moon landing probe

Russia's four-legged lunar platform will release an Indian-built rover

A modern-day space race to land an unmanned probe on the Moon is emerging between Russia and India on one side and China on the other.

After months of negotiations, Russian and Indian engineers have started working on a robotic mission together.

This would see the landing of a small four-wheeled rover on to the surface of the Earth's celestial neighbour.

It is set to launch in 2013, to roughly match the scheduled lunar landing of China's Chang'e-3 spacecraft.

Whichever team gets there first, it would be the first human hardware to function on the lunar surface since the Soviet Luna-24 spacecraft returned to Earth with Moon's soil samples in 1976.

Known in Russia as Luna-Resource and in India as Chandrayaan-2, the joint mission will include an Indian-built lunar orbiter and the Russian-built landing platform both launched by a single Indian rocket.

The Russian-built four-legged platform will deliver around 35kg of scientific equipment to the lunar surface and release a 15kg Indian-built robotic rover.

Despite being a far cry from the 750kg Soviet Lunokhod rovers, which rolled across the lunar landscape in the 1970s, the tiny Indian electric vehicle is still expected to provide scientific data, thanks to miniaturisation of technology.

"We do understand that, first of all, it is a demonstration of the Indian presence on the surface of the Moon," Aleksandr Zakharov, a leading scientist at the Space Research Institute (IKI) in Moscow told BBC News.

"However, it will have a TV camera onboard, and we also asked our Indian partners to include a miniature manipulator, so it could sample soil beyond the reach of the robotic arm of the (stationary Russian) lander."

The rover and all of its scientific instruments are expected to be Indian-built, even though India is free to solicit foreign participation, Mr Zakharov said.

Quest for water
Russia recently put the highest priority on the Luna-Resource project in order to fulfill a 2013 launch window insisted upon by India, Russian space industry officials said.

Mr Zakharov said the work on Luna-Resource was proceeding even more actively than on Russia's own project of lunar exploration - known as Luna-Glob

By the end of this month, the Moscow-based institute is planning to finalise the selection of instruments which will comprise the scientific payload aboard the stationary Luna-Resource lander.

The main focus of the scientific instruments would be the geochemical analysis of the lunar soil, including the detection of water.

Confirming the existence of lunar water became especially important for planetary scientists in 1990s, after a US probe found signs of water ice around the lunar poles.

By doing so, scientists would not simply write an important chapter in the geological history of the Earth's natural satellite, but also provide a major imperative if humans ever attempt to establish a habitable base on the Moon.

According to Mr Zakharov, a drilling mechanism, which is being considered for the Luna-Resource mission could penetrate as deep as 1m below the surface and with some luck achieve the pioneering feat of "touching" lunar water.

To increase the chances of this happening, Russian and Indian scientists will be working to carefully select landing sites for the mission.

Although the search is expected to continue for some time, the lunar South Pole had already been singled out as a possible target, where water ice could be most abundant and lie closest to the surface.

The selection process could be facilitated by data from India's first lunar mission - Chandrayaan-1 - which orbited the Moon in 2008.

According to Mr Zakharov, landing at the poles the Moon could be arranged so that it ensures the largely uninterrupted communications of the spacecraft with ground control.

At the same time, the Moon's polar regions are largely an enigma to scientists, as all previous lunar landings were limited to equatorial and middle latitudes.

Along with the quest for water, the Luna Resource mission could improve understanding of the internal composition of the Moon and its orbital movement with the help of a seismometer and a laser reflector.

Also on the short list of potential payloads is a radio beacon, which could facilitate lunar landings for future missions. Up to 10 scientific instruments could be placed aboard the lander, Zakharov said.

As Russia's second deep-space launch attempt after the scheduled mission to Phobos in 2011, Luna-Resource is expected to make a maximum use of scientific hardware, which had already been developed for exploration of the Martian Moon.

The IKI also expects that many of its traditional partners abroad would consider participating in the new mission. "We do talk to our usual partners in France, Germany, Sweden and other countries and we are counting on that," Mr Zakharov said.


Regular Member
Aug 21, 2009
ISRO to launch GSLV-F06 this year, (preparation for the unmanned moon mission-2013 in full swing)

Indian Space Research Organisation plans to launch GSLV-F06 this year and said preparation for the unmanned moon mission in 2013 in full swing with the setting up of one more launch pad.

The premier space agency is all geared up to launch Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F06), which will carry GSAT-5 or INSAT-4D, a communication satellite into the space.

The launch campaign for GSLV-F06 has already started and the vehicle will lift-off somewhere during end of September or first week of October.

GSAT-5 is a fully communication satellite, which would have C-band and external C-band transponders, useful for television broadcasting and business communication. This satellite will be positioned at 83º East longitude with a mission life of 12 years. It will also replace some of the ageing vehicles that are currently in orbit.
Source : ISRO to launch GSLV-F06 this year ::

Dummy images of MLS Rovers
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Mob Control Manager
Senior Member
Feb 12, 2009
Payloads for Chandrayaan-2 finalised

The five recommended payloads of Chandrayaan-2 orbiter are as follows:

Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer (CLASS) from ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bangalore and Solar X-ray Monitor (XSM) from Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad for mapping the major elements present on the lunar surface.
L and S band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) from Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad for probing the first few tens of meters of the lunar surface for the presence of different constituents including water ice. SAR is expected to provide further evidence confirming the presence of water ice below the shadowed regions of the moon.

Imaging IR Spectrometer (IIRS) from SAC, Ahmedabad for the mapping of lunar surface over a wide wavelength range for the study of minerals, water molecules and hydroxyl present.

Neutral Mass Spectrometer (ChACE–2) from Space Physics Laboratory (SPL), Thiruvananthapuram to carry out a detailed study of the lunar exosphere.

Terrain Mapping Camera–2 (TMC–2) from SAC, Ahmedabad for preparing a three-dimensional map essential for studying the lunar mineralogy and geology.

The two scientific payloads on Chandrayaan-2 rover are:

Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) from Laboratory for Electro Optic Systems (LEOS), Bangalore

Alpha Particle Induced X –ray Spectroscope (APIXS) from PRL, Ahmedabad.

Both the instruments are expected to carry out elemental analysis of the lunar surface near the landing site.

wild goose

Regular Member
Jun 15, 2009
Russia To Test Chandrayaan-2 Lander Next Year

BENGALURU, India — Next year, Russian space agency Roscomos plans to test the lander that will be part of India's second Moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, Roscosmos Deputy Head Anatoly Shilov says.

Scheduled to be lofted in 2013, Chandrayaan-2 will have an orbiter, a lander and a rover. It is slated to fly on a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle from Satish Dhawan Space Center on Sriharikota Island.

While the lander will be provided by Russia, the orbiter and the rover are being built by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

The rover will move on wheels on the lunar surface, pick up samples of soil or rocks, perform a chemical analysis and send the data to the spacecraft orbiting above.

The rover will weigh 30-100 kg. (70-220 lb.), depending on whether it is to do a semi-hard landing or soft landing. During its planned one month of surface operations, it will run predominantly on solar power.

Initially two lunar rovers were planned — one from India and a larger one from Russia — but following a cost analysis, the Russians gave up on the rover.

"The tasks of the mission are to investigate rock samples at the maximum distance from the landing point and to confirm the presence of water," Shilov said at the recent Bengaluru Space Expo. "Today we are talking about moving from research to ... lunar development," he says.

Meanwhile, the payloads to be flown on Chandrayaan-2 have been finalized by a committee of experts from ISRO centers, academic institutions and R&D laboratories, according to a press statement.

The five recommended payloads are:

"¢ Large-Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer from the ISRO Satellite Center (SAC) in Bengaluru, and Solar X-ray Monitor from the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, for mapping major elements on the lunar surface.

"¢ L- and S-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) from SAC for probing the first few tens of meters of the lunar surface for the presence of different constituents, including water ice. SAR is expected to provide further evidence confirming the presence of water ice in shadowed lunar regions.

"¢ Imaging IR Spectrometer from SAC for mapping of the lunar surface over a wide wavelength range for the study of minerals, water molecules and hydroxyls.

"¢ Neutral Mass Spectrometer from the Space Physics Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram, for study of the lunar exosphere.

"¢ Terrain Mapping Camera-2 from SAC for preparing a three-dimensional map essential for studying lunar mineralogy and geology.

The committee also recommends two scientific payloads on the rover. "Inclusion of additional payloads, if possible within the mission constraints, will be considered at a later date following a detailed review," ISRO says. Both instruments are expected to carry out elemental analysis of the lunar surface near the landing site:

"¢ Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope from the Laboratory for Electro-Optic Systems in Bengaluru.

"¢ Alpha Particle Induced X-ray Spectroscope from PRL, Ahmedabad.

The total Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft will weigh about 2,650 kg. at liftoff, with the orbiter comprising 1,400 kg. and the lander about 1,250 kg. Development of the subsystems of the orbiter and the rover is underway at ISRO centers in Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram and Ahmedabad, ISRO says.

Russia To Test Chandrayaan-2 Lander Next Year | AVIATION WEEK


Nov 16, 2009
Country flag
Chandrayaan-2 to get closer to moon

CHENNAI/MUMBAI: India's second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-2, a Rs 425 crore project, took a definite shape with Isro on Monday announcing details of payloads or scientific instruments to be flown on the orbiter and the rover. Chandrayaan-2 will be launched in 2013 from Sriharikota.

Hovering 100km above the moon, Chandrayaan-1 had confirmed water ice last year. Chandrayaan-2, equipped with an array of payloads, will probe closer and deeper for several things on the lunar surface, including water.

A series of meetings of experts chaired by UR Rao, chairman of the advisory committee on space sciences, last week decided that the mission would carry five payloads on the orbiter that goes around the moon and two scientific payloads on the rover, which will travel on the moon's surface. Three of the payloads are new, while two others are improved versions of those flown on Chandrayaan-1 orbiter.

A geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) will blast off sometime in early 2013 from the Sriharikota spaceport carrying the orbiter, the lander and the rover to the moon, about 3.8 lakh km away. While Russia will provide the lander, Isro will make the orbiter and rover.

"Chandrayaan-1 made observations of the moon from a distance. Chandrayaan-2 will actually get there and probe further. The previous mission found evidence of water in the polar region of the moon. We haven't decided on which part of the moon the lander carrying the rover would land, but it will be to look for water, among other things," said Isro spokesperson S Satish.

Unlike the lunar probe of Chandrayaan-1 which plunged into the moon, the Russian-designed lander will make a soft touchdown and release the rover, which will travel a few metres to collect lunar rocks and other materials. The scientific payloads on the rover will analyse surface elements on the moon and send the data to the orbiter, which eventually sends them to the earth station.

But why a moon mission more than half a century after the Soviet Union landed Luna 2 on the lunar surface in 1959 and 41 years after the US put the first man on the moon in 1969? "The last moon mission was in the 1970s and we don't have access to much of that data. The dozens of moon missions by other countries could not find water on the moon, which Chandrayaan-1 did. So we can rightfully expect some new findings," said Satish.

Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft weighs about 2,650kg, including the 1,400-kg orbiter and the 1,250kg lander.



Regular Member
Aug 21, 2009
Chandrayaan-II to have seven indigenous payloads

source :

India's second moon mission, Chandrayaan-II, will carry seven indigenous payloads. Two of these scientific instruments will be carried by a rover, which will detach itself from the satellite and make a soft-landing.

3 new payloads

Of the five payloads in the orbiter (main satellite), three are new and the rest "improved versions" of payloads flown on Chandrayaan–I, an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) press release said on Monday. The Rs. 425-crore mission is scheduled to be launched in 2013.

A Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer (CLASS) from the ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) and Solar X-ray Monitor (XSM) from the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, will map the major elements on the lunar surface. This payload is similar to Chandrayaan-I's X-ray Spectrometer (C1XS), designed for X-ray spectroscopic mapping.

An L and S band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) from the Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, will probe the first few tens of meters of the lunar surface to detect different constituents, including water ice.

The Imaging IR Spectrometer (IIRS) from the SAC will map the lunar surface with a wide wavelength range to study minerals, water molecules and hydroxyl. The Neutral Mass Spectrometer (ChACE–2) from the Space Physics Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram, will study the lunar exosphere.

The Terrain Mapping Camera–2 (TMC–2) from the SAC will prepare a three-dimensional map to study mineralogy and geology. The first one on board Chandrayaan-I did not meet its target entirely as the mission was called off prematurely 10 months after launch.

Two payloads on the rover will carry out elemental analysis of the surface near the landing site. These comprise a Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope from Laboratory for Electro Optic Systems, Bangalore, and an Alpha Particle Induced X –ray Spectroscope (APIXS) from the PRL.

The 1,250 kg lander (provided by Russia) and wheeled rover will detach from the main satellite once it reaches its orbit, and land on the surface where the instruments will analyse the terrain near the landing site.

Asked why foreign payloads are not part of this mission, PRL director J.N. Goswami said the mass specifications of the mission had to be considered. "Besides, we do have a Russian lander."

Chandrayaan-I carried 11 instruments and of them, six were foreign.

Heavy lander

U.R. Rao, Chairman, Advisory Committee on Space Sciences and the former Chairman of ISRO, told The Hindu that the heavy lander limited the payload weight to approximately 40 kg.

Chandrayaan-II, with a lift-off weight of 2,650 kg, will be launched by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

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