India planning second unmanned Lunar mission.

India did an unmanned lunar orbiter back in 2008, and now they’re gearing up to do it again: “The Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft consists of an orbiter, lander and rover configuration “to perform mineralogical and elemental studies of the lunar surface,” the ISRO said.” What makes this of particular interest is the projected price tag: 93 million.  When it comes to space missions, that’s absurdly cheap — for example, the UPI notes that this is about the same price as it costs to get SpaceX rocket into orbit.

Besides, it’s not so much the cost. Or the scientific data that we’d get from doing a Lunar rover (we actually haven’t put all that many up there, although apparently that’s going to change over the next couple of years).  It’s about expanding the skill set that we have more countries out there who know how to do this sort of thing.  You never know when we might need to have people trained up on it.

Via Glenn Reynolds.

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