Chandrayaan-II launch in April, to aim for moon's south pole: Jitendra Singh
New Delhi: If all goes well, India would launch its second lunar mission – Chandrayaan-II – in April 2018. According Union Minister Jitendra Singh, who is in-charge of the Department of Space, Chandrayaan-II, the lunar mission under which the ISRO will for the first time attempt to land a rover on the moon's south pole, will be launched in April.
While speaking to reporters, the MoS (I/C) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space said, "It is under Chandrayaan-I mission that the ISRO spotted water on the moon. Chandrayaan-2 is a further extension of the project and it is as good as landing a man on the moon."
Present on the occasion, ISRO's newly-appointed chairman K Sivan said, "The rover of India's second lunar mission, costing nearly Rs 800 crore, will be made to land near the yet-unexplored south pole."
Chandrayaan-2 will be ISRO's first inter-planetary mission to land a rover on any celestial body. Sivan noted that the window to launch the mission is between April and November this year.
"The targeted date is April. In case we miss the April date, we will launch it in November," Sivan added.
Citing the reason behind landing the rover near the south pole, Sivan said it is a "very tricky area" with rocks formed a million years ago.
"It has very old rocks. This could possibly help us understand the origin of the universe," he said.
Highlighting the measures taken by his ministry for the development of northeastern region, Singh said, "The government has created an exclusive forum at the Niti Aayog to prepare plans for the development of the NER, which will be co-chaired by the vice-chairman of the Aayog and DoNER Secretary."
Highlighting measures taken for the development of the NER during the last four years, Singh said, "The 90-year-old Indian Forest Act of 1927, which was a legacy of the British Raj, was amended by the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi."