Chandrayaan-2, India’s second lunar exploration probe, will land on the moon in 2017. India’s first solar mission, Aditya L1, is slated for launch in 2019. These missions are being developed by India’s apex space agency, the Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO).
Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh spoke about these two missions during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha. He said that the approved cost of the solar mission is Rs 378.53 crore.
Among the objectives of the Chandrayaan-2 mission is exploring the possibility of extra-terrestrial life.
Image for representation only. Source: Flickr
Aditya L1 will, among other things, study the solar corona – which has temperatures of over one million degrees and solar winds that can reach a velocity of 1000km a second.
In his written response, Mr. Singh said that the Aditya L1 mission “is aimed at studying the sun from an orbit around the sun-earth lagrangian point (L-1) which is about 1.5 million km from earth. It will carry seven payloads including a coronagraph to observe the outermost layers of the sun, the corona. Aditya L1 will be launched during 2019-20 timeframe.”
Mr. Singh also said that India has entered the era of “space marketing”. This follows the launch of six Singaporean satellites by ISRO on Wednesday.
So far, ISRO has launched over 50 international satellites from 20 countries – including Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Singapore, and the USA. India has earned $15 million and €80 million through these launches, and hopes to earn $5 million and €65 million from such launches in the future.
Chandrayaan-1 was launched in October 2008 and operated till August 2009. It’s chief achievement was the discovery of water on the moon.