SRIHARIKOTA, April 29: Following the successful launch of 10 nano satellites on Monday that created a world record, Indian space scientists are now looking forward to launch their ambitious Moon-mission Chandrayaan-I in the third quarter of this year.
The Insian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said that it will launch a 500 kg satellite that will orbit Earth's only natural satellite for two years for topography mapping and lunar surface mapping.
Talking to newsmen at Sriharikota, ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair said, "It is too early to attempt a human-landing mission on Moon. We will be sending a 500 kg satellite for terrain mapping and lunar surface mapping. The satellite will survey the lunar surface to produce a complete map of its chemical characteristics and 3-dimensional topography."
According to Nair, "All the instruments for Chandrayaan-I are ready. A few tests have to be conducted, following which we will be ready for the launch in the third quarter of this year. A special vehicle of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) called the PSLV-XL is being prepared for it. The weight of the strap-on thrust will increase from nine to 12 tons. All the six motors are ready."
The ISRO chairman further informed that India's first manned space flight can be expected in seven years, after three unmanned flights with the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-III configuration.
"We will be able to put two persons on a lower earth orbit," he said, adding, "We have submitted our project proposal to the government and the Centre has already released Rs 95 crore for the project. We are awaiting the approval for the project in another six months."