Special Correspondent

It is likely to take place in mid-October

Chandrayaan-2 is being planned for a 2011-2012 launch

ISRO will consider new satellites to accommodate new channels

CHENNAI: The launch of Chandrayaan, India’s moon mission project, will be delayed past the scheduled date of September 18 to mid-October, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman G. Madhavan Nair said here on Wednesday.

He said that the systems had already been fully integrated and that thermo-vacuum tests would be conducted soon. The launch would be possible about 45 to 60 days after that.

Alignments were the key to a successful launch along with climate conditions. Only about three days each month would provide favourable alignments, he said.

Chandrayaan-2, which would involve a moon orbiter and a land rover, was already being planned for a 2011-2012 launch. Agreements had been signed with Russian space authorities and plans had started, he said.

On the entry of private players into satellite launches, Dr. Nair said cost was an important factor. It took about 7 to 8 years for a Rs. 600 crore-1,000 crore investment in a satellite launch to break even. This was why private players showed only a mild interest.

Many companies, including TataSky and Reliance, had come forward to buy slots in the Ku band for direct-to-home (DTH) transmissions. ISRO would consider new satellites to accommodate new channels. All Ku band slots had been sold out and negotiations with international bodies were required to increase spectrum allocation, he said.

Manned mission

Dr. Nair said that India’s manned mission project could become a reality in the near future as ISRO was preparing a project report for the perusal of the government. Manufacture of indigenous cryogenic satellites could also be possible from the next year, as a thorough study had been made.