Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as http://parallelspirals.blogspot.com. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on December 22, 2010 as per the time stamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.
Over November and December, Anatoly Zak’s website RussianSpaceWeb has been updating information about Luna-Resurs. Luna-Resurs is the Russian name given to Chandrayaan-II.
As per a December 8, 2010 report on RussianSpaceWeb (which has translation from the NPO Lavochkin website) states that the team has defended improvements in Luna-Resurs mission. They seem to have finalised the payloads, the navigation and ballistic issues. It seems these improvements have been approved.
Another is on the selection of two landing sites for Chandrayaan-II. The report is based on a paper by E N Salyuta and others presented at the 41st Lunar and Planetary Conference in March 2010! The selection was aided by results from American and Japanese spacecrafts – Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter (LRO) and Kaguya. The page provides background on the 2 sites selected from the 14 original based on criteria such as landing safety, scientific interest, constant line of communication etc. The main landing site is near the Shoemaker and Faustini craters located at 87.2 degrees South and 68 degrees East lunar co-ordinates. The backup landing site is near the de Gerlach crater located 88.5 degrees South and 297 degrees East lunar co-ordinates.
The above work seems to be purely Russian. I am not sure if ISRO has yet been consulted on the project but the lander being a Russian component, the landing may also be of their choosing. The reference to the Indian rover as only a political payload was unnecessary. They said that about MIP on Chandrayaan-I in 2007, if I recollect. Maybe its for good luck.