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India to launch Chandrayaan-2 orbiter/lander/rover to the moon in 2016/17

Moon as seen by Apollo 12

With the thus far successful landing of China’s Chang’e 3 spacecraft on the lunar surface and possible landings on private lunar landers by the end of 2015, Indian is pushing ahead with its own lunar lander and rover, according to the Hindustan Times in a January 10, 2014 article.

The Indian probe, known as Chandryaan 2, will consist of an orbiter, a lander, and a rover and would be launched in the 2016-17 time frame on board a GSLV rocket. The mission was originally supposed to be a joint one with Russia, but that country placed it on review. The Indian Space Research Organization has decided to proceed with the mission without the Russians.

India has already conducted the Chandrayaan 1 mission that orbited the moon and helped to confirm the presence of water ice at the lunar poles. India has recently launched a similar orbiter, called the Mangalyaan to Mars.

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