Indian Space research Organization (ISRO) Chairman G. Madhavan Nair, has said that ISRO expects to launch Chandrayan-2 in 2013. Nair said that the biggest hurdle, as of now, in launching Chandrayaan-2, was to find a way to ensure that the rover has a soft landing on the surface of the moon.
He pointed out that due to the absence of atmosphere on moon’s periphery, parachuting the rover will not be an option and that rocket technology will have to be used for the purpose.
The Chandrayaan-2 comprises a motorized rover and a lunar orbiter. The motorized rover weighing between 30 kg – 100 kg will run on solar power, and have a life-span of 30 days in operation.
Like the Chandrayaan-1, Chandrayaan-2 will also be launched using the GSLV launch vehicle.
After launch, when the Chandrayaan-2 will land on the lunar surface, the motorized rover will detach from the lunar orbiter.
The rover will collect rock and soil samples for chemical analysis and send data to Chandrayaan-2, which will transmit the data to Earth.
In November 2008, Nair had said that the Chandrayaan-2 mission will cost Rs 425 crore. A fully indigenous mission, Chandrayaan-2 has received approval from the government and a sanction of funds.
Chandrayan-1 that was launched in October 22, 2008 is already in orbit and is providing valuable lunar data
After the launch of Chandrayaan-2, ISRO plans to launch a manned mission to the moon, by 2015.
ISRO also plans a mission to Mars that it hopes to finalise by 2010.