|MOSCOW, February 2, 2012|
Chandrayan-2 faces delay after Russian Mars probe failure
The failure of the Russian Mars mission last month will cause a delay in the construction of a Russian lander for India’s Chandrayan-2 mission to the Moon, said Russia’s top space official.
As a result, the launch of Chandrayan-2, planned for 2013, may have to be postponed by three years.
Academician Lev Zelyony, head of the Russian Space Research Institute, was quoted as saying that the Luna-Resource lander may not be ready till 2016.
“There were plans to launch the Luna-Glob and Luna-Resource missions in 2015,” the Russian scientist told RIA Novosti. “But the dates may have to be moved, as the technical solutions that were used with NPO Lavochkin’s Phobos-Grunt were also used in the lunar projects and they clearly need to be reviewed.”
The Phobos-Grunt spacecraft, launched in November to retrieve soil samples from the Martian moon Phobos, became stuck in Earth's orbit after its engines failed to fire and crashed back to Earth last month.
A Russian government commission set up to investigate the probe failure blamed it on a burst of heavy charged space radiation that caused the onboard computers to reboot and go into standby mode.
Academician Zelyony, who took part in the investigation, said the review will not affect scientific instruments of Luna-Resource and Luna-Glob, but only their control systems and the spacecraft.
While the Luna-Resource lander is to travel to the Moon aboard the Chandrayan-2 spacecraft and put an Indian rover on the lunar surface, the identical Luna-Globe will be an entirely Russian mission, which is to carry a boring system for taking Moon rock samples.
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