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Chandrayaan-2 to cost Rs 800 crore: Isro chairman

A national level committee to review Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the moon, recommended additional tests before it could take off, ISRO sources said.

science Updated: Apr 18, 2018 23:04 IST
Malavika Vyawahare, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Chandrayaan-2,Indian Space Research Organisation,GSAT-6A
In this photo provided by the Indian Space Research Organisation, India's maiden lunar mission Chandrayaan -1 is seen successfully taking off at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on October 22, 2008.(AP/File Photo)

India’s second lunar exploration mission, the Chandrayaan-2, which is scheduled for launch in October-November, would cost a total of Rs 800 crore — Rs 200 crore for the launch and Rs 600 crore for the satellite — Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chairman K Sivan said on Wednesday.

“This cost,” he told Union minister of state for atomic energy and space Jitendra Singh during a meeting here, “is almost half of what it would cost if the same mission had to be launched from a foreign launching site”.

An ISRO official said there is only a window of one or two days in a month for launching the satellite to the moon. This window was in April and the next date is in October and then November.

The second iteration of the moon mission comes a decade after the launch of Chandrayaan-I, a landmark mission for the national space agency as with that India became only the fourth country to plant its flag on the moon, after the United States, former USSR and Japan.

The Chandrayaan-2 is an advanced version of its predecessor. It will weigh 3,250kg at the launch, with an orbiter, lander and rover that are all indigenously developed.

The orbiter will be launched into orbit while the lander will make a soft landing on the moon and deploy the rover.

“The probe will descend on the surface of the moon, from where they will collect samples of soil, water, etc to carry back home for detailed analysis and research,” Sivan said. Jitendra Singh praised the fact that the second mission is not only cost-effective but also “totally indigenous in its expertise, manufacturing and material”.

India’s first lunar probe, Chandrayaan-1, was lauded for costing a fraction of what other lunar missions cost — $80 million as compared to the Japan’s SELENE mission’s $480 million.

Chandrayaan-I was launched on October 22, 2008 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre near Chennai, and included a probe, impactor and orbiter. The Moon Impact Probe (MIP) crash landed on the lunar surface on November 14, 2008. Less than a year after the launch, however, the orbiter faced numerous technical difficulties and on August 29, 2009, Isro lost contact with the craft, much before its intended mission length of 2 years.

First Published: Apr 18, 2018 19:08 IST