India’s most ambitious space mission yet, Chandrayaan-2, that hopes to place a robotic rover on the moon could be launched as early as April this year, says Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office that is in charge of space affairs.
“Chandrayaan-2 is one of the most remarkable ISRO missions of 2018 and it will be a world event,” Dr Singh told NDTV.
Only USA, Russia and China have been able to soft-land spacecraft on the lunar surface. If India succeeds, it will be a huge achievement for space agency ISRO that has a budget almost 20 times less than US space agency NASA.
Dr Singh says Chandrayaan-2 with its many scientific capabilities will throw up data that “may open up possibilities of future habitation of the moon”. There are tantalising possibilities of a human outpost on the moon in the future and India is already investing in its human space flight programme.