India unveils plan to walk on the moon – Futura

India wants to build a moon base from the 2040s. It’s a crazy program for this major space power, which just a few months ago joined the club of nations that have successfully landed on the moon with the Chandrayaan 3 mission. The Indian space agency today describes its roadmap.

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The schedule was unveiled on November 28 at the national symposium of the Indian Society of Geomatics (Geography and Informatics) – ISG by S. Somanath, Director General, Indian Space Agency (Isro). We can fully admit that this plan is very ambitious. The starting year of the schedule is 2023 with the success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission, India’s first mission to the lunar surface.

A three-stage program

The first phase extends until 2028 and aims to develop various essential technologies. This begins with a new version of the LVM3 medium launch vehicle with a new rocket engine based on liquid oxygen and kerosene as propellants, which is currently in development and is intended to replace the old Vikas engines of the Viking engines of the Ariane 4 rockets. This also includes the first Gaganyaan manned flights in Earth orbit, which are currently being prepared. Also included: some in-orbit docking and refueling test missions, lunar sample return with Chandrayaan 4, and the joint Lupex mission with Japan.

In the second phase, lunar missions will continue with:

  • Chandrayaan 5: Long-term nuclear test mission with an RTG or RHU;
  • Chandrayaan 6: Using lunar resources to build modules (Isru);
  • Chandrayaan 7: Producing fuel from lunar resources.

This phase also includes the development of a new heavy launch vehicle that will send the first manned missions into lunar orbit. The plan is to land a humanoid there in 2028. According to the Prime Minister’s wishes, the first manned mission is planned for 2040.

The final phase of this crazy program is the construction and use of a 2040s moon base. This involves the use and marketing of minerals, tourism, but also the use of the base as a springboard for planetary exploration missions. It is therefore a very ambitious and 100% autonomous program, while India is also a signatory to NASA’s Artemis Accords.