ISRO releases Chandrayaan-2 orbiter data: All you need to know
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has released the first set of data from the eight instruments aboard India’s second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2. The orbiter, which has completed sixteen months around the moon in lunar orbit, was launched on July 22, 2019 and inserted into the lunar orbit on August 20.
On completion of one year of the orbiter being in space, Isro had said that the spacecraft was ‘healthy’, performance of subsystems were normal, and there was adequate onboard fuel to remain operational for about seven years.
Here is all you need to know about the orbiter:
- Chandrayaan-2, described as the most complex mission ever undertaken by Isro, cost less than half the budget of Hollywood blockbuster ‘Avengers Endgame’. The total cost of the mission is estimated at 124 million US dollars, while the movie has an estimated budget of close to 356 million US dollars.
- The mission made India the fourth nation after the United States, Russia and China to land a spacecraft on the Moon.
- Chandrayaan-2 consisted of three missions clubbed together – the orbiter that would circle around the moon, the Vikram lander that was to make a soft landing near the south pole of the moon, and the Pragyan rover that was to explore the lunar surface and observe water ice. The lander and rover were destroyed during the attempted landing in September, 2019.
- The lander of Chandrayaan 2, ‘Vikram’, was named after the pioneer of India’s space programme, physicist Dr Vikram Sarabhai.
- The data from seven out of the eight instruments was collected by the Indian Space Science Data Centre at Karnataka’s Byalalu, where it was prepared in the Planetary Data System 4 (PDS4) format for public release before being peer-reviewed scientifically. It was then released through the PRADAN portal hosted by ISSDC at https://pradan.issdc.gov.in.