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Satnews Daily
August 13th, 2009

The Big Nuke Question For Chandrayaan II

India plans to power some parts of the Chandrayaan II, the nation's next unmanned mission to the moon, with nuclear energy and the feasibility studies are being carried out by Indian Space Research Organisation and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.

"We are thinking of powering some parts of Chandrayaan II with nuclear power and it will power the spacecraft when it revolves aroung the dark side of the moon," Madhavan Nair, Chairman, ISRO, told media before accepting the degree of Doctorate of Science conferred on him at the 47th Convoction of IIT-Mumbai. He said both ISRO and BARC are carrying out the feasibility studies on this, which will be useful for carrying out further experiments to use nuclear power for Chandrayaan II, he said. Asked how safe it is to use nuclear power in the mission, he said, "the safety aspects are being worked and safety is crucial when it is launched from ground level to the orbit. To work out the safety, we have to work on new technologies and the feasibility studies will help in developing those," Nair said. On the use of nuclear power in the deep space probe, he said "we need nuclear power in those missions which are outside out solar systems but the challenges are very many." Asked whether laws relating to use of space will allow use of nuclear power, he said, "we have to take utmost care in launching from to ground to the orbit and this aspect we will work out in future."