Bangalore, Nov 14: Taking the Indo-Russian space cooperation to new heights, the two countries will launch a joint lunar mission-Chandrayaan-2 in 2011-12 with the Indian Space Research Organisation building a lunar orbitar and Russia a lander/rover to move on the moon surface.
ISRO and Russia"s Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) have signed an Agreement on joint lunar research and exploration during the recent visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Russia.
Giving the details of the agreement, ISRO in a release here today said the cooperation agreement envisaged Chandrayaan-2, a joint lunar mission involving a lunar orbiting spacecraft and a Lander/Rover on the Moon"s surface. A few scientific instruments from other space agencies may also be accommodated on these systems the release said.
Chandrayaan-2 would be launched on India"s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) around 2011-12 time frame. This agreement is a major milestone in the long-standing cooperation between India and Russia in the area of outer space, the release added.
Activities for launching Chandrayaan-1, India"s first unmanned mission to moon during April 2008 were progressing well. The spacecraft was in the final stages of integration and testing, and would be launched onboard India"s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). This mission featured a spacecraft orbiting around the Moon for two years at an altitude of 100 km mapping the topography and the mineralogical content of the lunar surface.
Chandrayaan-1 would also have a Moon Impact Probe payload for demonstrating the technology needed towards accurate landing on the Moon"s surface. Chandrayaan-2 is the next logical step for more detailed and in situ study of the Moon the release added.