Chandrayaan II to Launch on 2013
Chandrayaan II Rover Schematic
Following the successful launch of Chandrayaan-I lunar mission, ISRO is set to launch the second mission in the year 2013 according to ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair.
Chandrayaan-I involved the launch of a satellite that orbited around the moon. The mainstay of the second mission is a Moon Rover. It will be far more complicated than the first mission because landing a rover on the moon is a difficult task. Because moon does not have an atmosphere, using a parachute to slow down the descent of the unit that houses the rover will ultimately be useless. ISRO is yet to work out a safe approach to land the delicate rover.
Since the mission life of Chandrayaan-I has still not expired and because the Chandrayaan-II will be based on data gathered by the first mission, naturally it will take that much longer to launch the second installment of the mission.
ISRO will also launch a geostationary, weather satellite in the near future for recording monsoon patterns and cloud shifts in the next few years.
As for ISROs plan to put a person on the moon, the project has been stalled because of the lack of qualified personnel. Mr. Nair has reached out to the student community to take up careers in space research and exploration as most students avoid these options in favour of well-paying private jobs.