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Chandrayaan-II to be launched by 2013
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Kolkata (IANS): India's second lunar mission Chandrayaan-II is likely to be launched by 2013, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman G. Madhavan Nair said on Saturday.

"Chandrayaan-II should take place by 2013. Our first lunar mission, Chandrayaan-I, has given us a substantial understanding about entering the moon's orbit. But ensuring the safe landing of the rover on the lunar surface is still an obstacle," Nair told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony here.

He said: "The moon doesn't have any atmosphere so utilising parachutes will not be possible. We are now exploring other alternatives."

Nair, who was in town to receive M.P. Birla Memorial Award, 2009 for exceptional achievement in the field of astronomy and space science said the biggest impediment to the proposed Chandrayaan-II project was the impact management of the rover.

He said that ISRO would also launch a geostationary satellite to cater to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to record the changing monsoon pattern and cloud shifts.

"This satellite will be handed over to IMD within next 2-3 years. It'll help to track the reading of cloud shifts and changing monsoon patterns," he said.

Nair said that India's Mars mission was suffering due to lack of qualified manpower available.

"The Mars mission could be delayed as we don't have enough scientific ideas coming through. In India, there is a requirement for more students to take up pure sciences and undertake research activities," he said.

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