'Chandrayaan-2 by end of 2009 or early 2010'

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Sriharikota, Oct 22: After the successful launch of India's first unmanned moon mission Chandrayaan-1, Indian Space Reasearch Organisation(ISRO) is now on course for the Chandrayaan-2 mission, which is likely to take place either by the end of 2009 or early 2010.

ISRO Chairman, G Madhavan Nair said to media after the launch of Chandrayaan-1 that the project report for Chandrayaan-2 made in the midst of preparation for Chandrayaan-1, has been approved by the government. ''The same team involved in Chandrayaan-1 will be on the job. As soon as Chandrayaan-1 starts working, the work on Chandrayaan-2 will start,'' Mr Nair said, adding one of the two GSLV missions next year, would carry Chandrayaan-2.

Gallery: Launch of Chandrayaan-1
Video: India launches first unmanned moon mission

The composition of the instruments for Chandrayaan-2 would be decided after studying the data received from the first mission, he said.

Chandrayaan-2 would feature a lander and a rover for a softland on the Moon. India and Russia would jointly participate in this project. However, there would be a provision to accommodate payloads from other space agencies also as in Chandrayaan-1.

On the Mars mission, Mr Nair said the natural next destination for ISRO would be the Mars. GSLV could take a reasonably sized spacecraft to the Mars. The technical capabliltiy as well as mission planning has just begun. ''After finalising the scientific proposals, the mission would be finalised'', he added.

UNI

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