India’s second moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, has been further postponed to 2014. And this time, it’s due to Russia, which has prioritized a mission of its own and delayed developing the lander (which would touch down on the moon surface to allow the rover to carry out exploratory and scientific work) for the mission.
This has been revealed by the parliamentary standing committee on science & technology’s report on demands for grants (2012-2013).
The report states that while interacting with the department of space, the committee headed by T Subbramani Reddy raised a query regarding the constant rescheduling of Chandrayaan -2 programme. “In response to the query, the department stated that Chandrayaan-2 involves a complex work of sending a lander and a robot to moon for doing experiment on this satellite.
The department further stated that the lander is made by Russia while the rover is made in India. While narrating further on the issue, the department pointed out that due to reprioritisation of certain programme by Russia, the Chandrayaan -2 programme has been postponed to 2014,” the report states.
The Russian Mars Mission launched last year had failed and this setback is said to have prompted Russia to prioritise its mission over the Chandrayaan-2.
This apart, the three recent failures of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) have also contributed to the delay on the part of the Isro. Chandrayaan-2 will be launched onboard a GSLV.
“Recent three failures in GSLV flights have placed the department in a disadvantageous position to prove the reliability of GSLV mission, which is now taking time,” the department said in its response.
Meanwhile, the committee has said that after going through the aforesaid reply of the department, it is of the opinion that preparation of an optimistic schedule for missions like Chandrayaan -2 alone is not sufficient but what is required is the will and dedication to complete the mission target within the time schedule.
“If time schedule does not inspire the confidence of the team and is seen by it as an unrealistic target, it will hardly serve any purpose. The department should fix time schedules in a more realistic way, rather than fixing time schedules which are not to be adhered.
"The committee feels that failure to adhere to programme schedule sends a wrong message to the public and lowers their confidence in our capability to take our space programme to new heights,” states the report.