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India Has Bold Space Plans in the Years That NASA Mobilizes ‘Artemis’

Sept. 11, 2019 (EIRNS)—Following its continuing experiments with the Chandrayaan-2 lunar orbiter, India is making bold Moon-Mars plans for the years to 2024 during which NASA will be mobilizing the “Artemis Project.” The two nations and their space agencies could certainly work together, as India now plans do with Japan and Russia, among others.

According to Space.com on Sept. 7, in 2020 the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will launch Aditya-L1, to investigate the Sun’s corona, which is also being investigated by the NASA’s Parker Solar Probe. And in 2023 it is expected to launch Shukrayaan, a mission to study the surface and subsurface of Venus. In 2022, India plans a Mars Orbiter Mission-2 (MOM-2, or Mangalyaan-2). Mars Orbiter Mission-1 was an instrumented orbiter—which was able to insert itself into Mars orbit on the first try—but Mars Orbiter Mission-2 will include a lander and rover in addition to instrumentation aboard the Mangalyaan-2 orbiter.

Beginning in 2022, India also plans to send astronauts into low-Earth orbit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in his Independence Day address last month. India’s Gaganyaan mission will comprise three crew members, who will be in space for five to seven days, ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said on Aug. 27, according to Hindustan Times Aug. 28.

The third lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, will come in 2023, in a partnership with Japan. The mission plans to use the Japanese H3 heavy-lift rocket which is under development; and also, a very long-lived lander (Indian) and rover (Japanese) to explore 500 square meters at the lunar South Pole. Sivan told Asian Age in a June 16 interview:

“For our next mission—Chandrayaan-3—which will be accomplished in collaboration with JAXA [Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency], we will invite other countries, too, to participate with their payloads. We are working on the configuration of Chandrayaan-3, and will decide on the launch schedule at a later date.”

Ironically, Chandrayaan-1 in (October 2008-August 2009) also had its “failure,” with communication ceasing about halfway through its planned year, but the mission was “wildly successful,” in the words of Space.com, making the historic first confirmation of water ice on the Moon, a source of excitement in space exploration communities since then.

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