Chandrayaan-2, the lunar mission will be cheaper mission than Hollywood's 2014 science fiction movie Interstellar. This is the mission under which the ISRO will for the first time attempt to land a rover on the moon's south pole, will be launched in April.
According to the reports, the rover of India's second lunar mission will cost nearly Rs 800 crore. Hollywood movie 'Interstellar' that cost Rs 1,062 crore ($165 million). In fact, Isro's earlier Mars mission (Rs 470 crore) launched in 2013 was also cheaper than another Hollywood space movie 'Gravity' (whose budget was Rs 644 crore or $100 million) made in the same year.
The `800-crore Chandrayaan-2 weighing around 3,290 kg would orbit around the moon and perform the objectives of remote sensing the moon. The payloads will collect information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice.
"India is going to launch Chandrayaan-2 in April. It is under Chandrayaan-1 mission that the ISRO spotted water on the moon. Chandrayaan-2 is a further extension of the project and it is as good as landing a man on the moon," Singh told reporters here.
Chandray aan-2 will be ISRO's first inter-planetary mission to land a rover on any celestial body.
Sivan noted that the window to launch the mission is between April and November this year.
"The targeted date is April. In case we miss the April date, we will launch it in November," Sivan added.
Citing the reason behind landing the rover near the south pole, Sivan said it is a "very tricky area" with rocks formed a million years ago.
"It has very old rocks. This could possibly help us understand the origin of universe," he said.
Another reason, he cited, behind landing the rover near the south pole was that the area has not been explored by other missions. "Most of the lunar missions in the past have explored the area around the equator of the moon," Sivan added.
During the Chandrayaan-1 lunar odyssey between October 2008 and August 2009, its payload Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC) had mapped the topography of the moon, including the lunar south pole where ISRO plans to soft land the Chandrayaan-2.