The mission goal of India’s second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, will be clearer next month when a meeting will decide upon the payloads, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) director S.K. Shivakumar, said in Bangalore on Monday.

A meeting there on August 3 would finalize Chandrayaan-2′s scientific instruments, which together would weigh between 30 and 35 kg, said Dr. Shivakumar in a lecture on “Chandrayaan-Deep Space Network,” organised by the Institute of Engineers.

“The payloads are currently going through the process of short-listing,” he said.

Dr. Shivakumar said the probe would “take forward” some of the accomplishments of Chandrayaan-1, which had famously established the presence of water on the moon.

Chandrayaan-2, scheduled for a 2012 launch, would have an Indian-made orbiter and rover (to move on the moon’s surface and collect soil samples), and a Russian lander.

Three-dimensional map

The data collected from Chandrayaan-1 continued to be analyzed and a three-dimensional map of the lunar surface was being created with information received from the Terrain Mapping Camera, one of its 11 payloads, Dr. Shivakumar said.

Retracing the origins of ISRO’s ambitious Indian Deep Space Network established in Byalalu (on the outskirts of Bangalore), Dr. Shivakumar said its giant 32-meter antenna had tracked the European Space Agency’s missions to Venus and Mars.

“All calculations show that the antenna will successfully track India’s Mars mission,” he added.

Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff

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