Tuesday, December 18, 2007

India, Russia begin talks on Chandrayaan-II

New Delhi, (PTI): India has begun technical discussions with Russia on the joint moon mission Chandrayaan-II which is expected to be launched in 2011-12.

Scientists are planning to land a rover on the moon for carrying out chemical analysis of the lunar surface and explore other resources on the earth's natural satellite.

"In situ chemical analysis and resource exploration is the main objective of Chandrayaan-II," Mylaswamy Annadurai, Project Director of Chandrayaan-I, told PTI.

Annadurai visited Russia late last month to hold initial technical discussions on Chandrayaan-II which is expected to be a much shorter mission than Chandrayaan-I scheduled for launch on April nine, 2008.

An agreement for Chandrayaan-II was signed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Roskosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Moscow last month.

Mineral samples from the moon contained Helium 3, a variant of the gas used in refrigerators, and Chandrayaan-II will also look out for the gas which experts believe may offer a solution to energy shortages. The current Chinese moon mission is also exploring this prized source of energy.

Chandrayaan-II will benefit from the country's maiden moon mission which will survey the lunar surface to produce a complete map of its chemical characteristics and 3-dimensional topography over a two-year period.

The survey of the lunar surface will help scientists identify the exact place for landing the rover and strategic locations to carry out experiments, Annadurai said.


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