Three new Indian payloads for Chandrayaan 2, decides ISRO

The second Indian space mission to the moon, Chandrayaan 2, scheduled for 2013, will have three new Indian payloads and will repeat two instruments from the 2008 Chandrayaan 1 mission that lead to the discovery of water in the form of ice near the North Pole of the moon.

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on Monday announced that a national committee of experts had picked five scientific payloads to be on the orbiting Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft and two instruments on the rover that is set to land on the moon with the help of a Russian lander. The committee has not picked any foreign payloads for the mission though a large number of agencies have evinced interest in the mission. ISRO officials said a decision on including other payloads would be taken as the mission progresses.

"Inclusion of additional payloads, if possible within the mission constraints, will be considered at a later date following a detailed review," ISRO said.

ISRO said the five instruments for the spacecraft had been picked by the experts committee on the basis of detailed considerations of the mission requirements for Chandrayaan 2, including the weight and power available for the scientific payloads.

The Rs 500 crore Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft will weigh about 2,650 kg at lift-off, of which the orbiter weight is about 1,400 kg and lander weight is about 1,250 kg. The spacecraft is to be launched by ISRO's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle. Greater analysis of the moon and a more in-depth study of findings from the first Indian mission to the moon are among the main mission objectives.

The two improved instruments from the Chandrayaan 1 mission that will be on board Chandrayaan 2 will be from the Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad an L and S band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and the Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC-2).

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