Sunday, September 23, 2007
India-Russia Plan New Lunar Exploration with Powered Rover
Russia and India are in talks to forge an agreement to conduct joint lunar exploration using an Indian booster rocket and a lunar orbital module while Russia would a contribute the lunar mobile laboratory similar to the early 1970's Soviet lunar rover Lunokhod as reported by the India's national newspaper, The Hindu.
Russian Space Agency Roskosmos Anatoly Perminov and ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair will discuss the unmanned lunar exploration prospects at the 58th International Astronautical Congress in Hyderabad, India on September 24-28. Early next year India will launch its first lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, which will circle the moon, but not land any module on its surface [video-1 and video-2] in 2008.
Russian Moon exploration program “Luna-Glob” has two parts, one of which starts in 2012 and includes studies of Lunar inner structure, search for mineral deposits and other remote sensing. A second Russian mission includes landing of Moon rover of the new generation, which weighs 400 kg including the cooperation with India.
China is planning its own lunar rover in 2012 [video] as a follow-on to its lunar orbiter Chang'e 1 [video] anticipated in late 2007.