Chandrayaan 2 Launch 2019: Rs 978 cr project, 3.8-tonne mission mass, 13 instruments
Chandrayaan 2 Launch Mission: The launch will be a giant leap in India’s space program and its success will solidify its place among the world’s spacefaring nations with Chandrayaan-2 aimed landing a rover near the unexplored south pole.Updated: Jul 13, 2019 16:03 IST
When the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launches its second unmanned mission Chandrayaan-2 early on Monday, it will “boldly go where no country has ever gone before”.
It will be a giant leap in India’s space program and its success will solidify its place among the world’s spacefaring nations with Chandrayaan-2 aimed landing a rover near the unexplored south pole.
Chandrayaan-2 will be launched at 2:51am on Monday from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota and is expected to land on the moon on September 6.
Here’s what you need to know about Chandrayaan-2:
* With a total mission mass of 3.8 tonnes, the entire project is set to cost Rs 978 crore — Rs 603 crore for the spacecraft and Rs 375 crore for the GSLV Mk-III. Chandrayaan-2 consists of an orbiter, a lander (Vikram), and a rover (Pragyan). ISRO has named the lander Vikram in memory of India’s space pioneer Vikram Sarabhai and called the rover Pragyan, which means wisdom in Sanskrit.
* Chandrayaan-2’s lander, as well as the rover, will have the Indian national flag painted on them and the Ashoka Chakra will be imprinted on the rover’s wheels.
* The mission will send the rover to the moon’s south pole and Indian scientists hope to directly observe the water ice on the lunar surface, evidence for which was gathered by spectrometers aboard India’s first moon mission in 2008.
* ISRO has said Chandrayaan-2 will be injected into an Earth parking 170x40400 km orbit. The spacecraft’s orbit will be raised by a series of manoeuvres to put it on Lunar Transfer Trajectory. On entering the Moon’s sphere of influence, on-board thrusters will slow down the spacecraft for Lunar Capture.
* From its launch to the soft landing, the entire mission is set to take about 58 days. After the launch, it will take 16 days to raise the orbit and then five days to reach the moon’s orbit. Once there, it will make an orbit around the moon for 27 days, before the lander makes an attempt to de-orbit. After four more days, the lander will land in a difficult manoeuvre that lasts 15 minutes.
* Landing of Chandrayaan-2 is ISRO’s biggest challenge till now, the 15 minutes when the lander separates and before it soft lands on the moon have been called “terrifying moments” by the agency that has never undertaken such a flight.
* Chandrayaan-2 will attempt to soft-land Vikram and Pragyan in a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, at a latitude of about 70° south, ISRO has said.
* Ample solar light for solar power, the near flat surface with good visibility for a safe landing and expected the higher presence of water and minerals are the main reasons why ISRO chose Moon’s south-pole for landing.
* The first landing pictures may be available within 15 minutes of the lander touching down. However, it will take four hours from the time of landing to the time the Rover comes out from the lander.
* A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) instrument for LASER ranging will be carried by the mission as a mark of cooperation between the two space agencies. India will use the Deep Space Network of the US space agency on payment basis for navigation and guidance.
* The rover and the lander will have a life of one lunar day (14 earth days) and for that lunar day, it will conduct scientific experiments. The orbiter, however, has a life of one year.
* The mission carries 13 Indian scientific instruments for experiments. Imaging of rock will be done to find elements like magnesium, calcium and iron and also for signs of water. Mission will also study the exosphere of the moon.
* ISRO is following the same launch strategy followed for Chandrayaan-1. However, Chandrayaan 1 was just an orbiter while Chandrayaan-2 has lander and rover components adding complexity to the mission.