Chandrayaan-2: India’s second moon mission

ISRO

On 22 October 2009, India sent it’s first lunar probe and the whole World witnessed the great success of Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO). Chandrayaan-1 mission that assisted in confirming the presence of water on the moon. It was a glorious moment in the country’s assignation with space exploration program as India became only the fourth country to plant a flag on the moon. The estimated cost for the project was just ₹386 crore (US$59 million) could you believe it ? But, its true and now ISRO is known for delivering every space program in a efficient budget.

On 12 November 2007, the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and ISRO planned to work together on the Chandrayaan-2 project. ISRO would have the prime responsibility for the orbiter and rover, while Roscosmos was to provide the lander in 2013.

Russia later withdraw out of the program. According to a news report from The Hindu, the Russian lander’s construction was delayed after the December 2011 failure of Roscosmos’ Phobos-Grunt mission to the Martian moon of Phobos, the report stated.

Some reports stated that NASA and the European Space Agency were interested in participating, but ISRO proceeded with the mission on its own.

Now, ISRO is all geared up to send its second – Chandrayaan 2 – to the Moon.

The mission is planned to be launched to the Moon by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F10).

ISRO
An artistic illustration of Orbiter, Lander and Rover.

According to ISRO’s offical website, Chandrayaan-2 Weighing around 3920 kilos, is totally indigenous mission comprising of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover.After reaching the 100 km lunar orbit, the Lander housing the Rover will separate from the Orbiter. After a controlled descent, the Lander will soft land on the lunar surface at a specified site and deploy a Rover. The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter will circle the moon and provide information about its surface. The payloads will collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice. The mission will also send a small, 20-kilogram, six-wheeled rover to the surface; the rover will move semi-autonomously, examining the lunar regolith’s composition.

Mission duration of Orbiter will be one year(Earth-year), and on the other hand, Lander and Rover will be active for one lunar day or 14 Earth-days.

GSLV-F10/Chandrayaan-2 Mission is planned during second half of 2018 (October 2018).

More about Chandrayaan-2 Mission

Chandrayaan-2 will be making two phenomenal records, It will be the first lunar mission globally to execute a soft-landing in a particular region of the moon’s south pole, which will be a nailbiting operation. It will be also be the first mission to have the hyper spectral imager in the infrared region.

ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan stated that the total cost of the mission would be around Rs 800 crore(US$120 million). This includes Rs 200 crore as the cost of launching and Rs 600 crore for the satellite.

While NASA is not directly participating in this mission, the measurements taken by Chandrayaan-2 would be helpful for future lunar missions. That is because in late 2017, the agency was tasked by the Trump administration to return humans to the moon in the coming years.

Trump in NASA
President Donald Trump holds up ‘Space Policy Directive 1’ after signing it during a ceremony with NASA astronauts (R-L) Peggy Whitson, Buzz Aldrin and Jack Schmitt in the Roosevelt Room at the White House December 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. On the 45th anniversary of Apollo 17 — the last crewed mission to the moon — Trump signed the order directing NASA ‘to lead an innovative space exploration program to send American astronauts back to the Moon, and eventually Mars,’ according White House spokesman Hogan Gidley. Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Future missions of ISRO

ISRO plans to use the Chandrayaan-2 mission experience for more challenging missions in the future, such as touching down on an asteroid or Mars, or sending a spacecraft to Venus, IRSO chairman Dr K Sivan said in the article published in Science magazine on, January 2018.

 

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