These images show a very young lunar crater on the side of the moon that faces away from Earth, as viewed by NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper on the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft. On the left is an image showing brightness at shorter infrared wavelengths. On the right, the distribution of water-rich minerals (light blue) is shown around a small crater. Both water- and hydroxyl-rich materials were found to be associated with material ejected from the crater. (2009-09-24) (A file photo)ISRO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS/Bro

The revised Chandrayaan-2 project, an unmanned mission to moon jointly by India and Russia, is likely to be completed by 2016-17, the Indian government stated on Thursday.

The project, with Indian Lander, is currently under process in Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for Indian government's approval, said Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh in Rajya Sabha.

India has no immediate plan for manned mission to moon, Singh stated. Based on the assessment of the progress, the revised Chandrayaan-2 project is likely to be completed by 2016-2017, the minister added.

ISRO and Russian Federal Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS) have been pursuing Chandrayaan-2 as a joint mission under which, ROSCOSMOS has the responsibility for the Lander and ISRO has the responsibility to realize the Rover Module, Orbiter and the launch by GSLV, the minister said.

Consequent to the failure of the Russia-led sample return mission to Phobos (one of the moons of Mars), ROSCOSMOS communicated the shift in the approach for India-Russia joint mission, in May 2012, which called for a major realignment and lead to re-definition of Chandrayaan-2 with an Indian Lander.  

Subsequently, based on the recommendations of an integrated programmatic review, conducted at ISRO, Chandrayaan-2 has been reconfigured with an Indian Orbiter, Lander and Rover for in-situ investigation of the lunar surface.

Countries' request for launching of satellites

Singh further stated that requests have been received from a number of countries for launching their satellites in India.

ISRO has two satellite launch pads at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, which is the main spaceport of the country.

These launch pads have been built with state-of-the-art technology and also are designed and built to withstand cyclones. India's east coast, where Sriharikota is situated, is a cyclone-prone area.

In the last 15 years, ISRO has launched 15 foreign saltellites and earned $54 million. In June, the prestigious space organisation launched five satellites of France, Germany, Canada and Singapore, which was witnessed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

The government-constituted expert committee is carrying out detailed analysis, considering the launch requirements for the next decade, azimuth corridor for flight path, impact points of spent stages, safety zones and mission requirements. The report of the committee is expected to be finalized by October 2014, the minister revealed.

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