The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch India's second-lunar mission at 2:43 p.m. today, July 22, 2019. The launch of Chandrayaan-2 onboard GSLV MkIII-M1 will be from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The name Chandrayaan means 'Chandra-Moon, Yaan-vehicle', - in Sanskrit and Hindi. Chandrayaan-2 is India's first space mission that will conduct a soft landing on the moon's south polar region. The mission will make India 4th country to soft land rover on the surface of the moon after Russia, America and China. So far, as many as 38 soft landing attempts have been made by space agencies in the world and the success rate of these missions is 52 per cent. India's second-lunar mission is being launched 11 years after Chandrayaan-1, which was launched on October 22, 2008, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR. Here's a quick comparison between Chandrayaan-1 and Chandrayaan-2.
Glimpse at the history of Chandrayaan-1: Chandrayaan-1 was India's first mission to moon, which was launched by Polar Satellite launch Vehicle, PSLV-C11 on October 22, 2008, from Sriharikota. Chandrayaan-1 made more than 3,400 orbits around the moon. It was operational for 312 days till August 29, 2009. The lift-off mass of Chandrayaan-1 was 1380 kg, according to ISRO.
Chandrayaan-1 key achievements: The Chandrayaan-1 discovered traces of water on the moon-a path-breaking discovery in the world of space science. Chandrayaan-1 also discovered water ice in the North polar region of the Moon. It also detected Magnesium, Aluminium and Silicon on the lunar surface. Global imaging of the moon is another achievement of this mission.
Scientific instrumnets on-board Chandrayaan-1: There were eleven scientific instruments onboard Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft. Five of them were Indian and other six were from ESA (3), NASA (2) and Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (1) selected through ISRO Announcement of Opportunity (AO). Two of the ESA instruments had Indian collaboration.
Chandrayaan-2 is a follow-on mission to the Chandrayaan-1, comprising an orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyaan). Unlike, Chandrayaan-1, this second lunar mission will attempt to soft land Vikram on the lunar surface and deploy a six-wheeled Rover (Pragyaan), which will carry out scientific experiments on the moon. The lift-off mass of Chandrayaan-2 is said to be 3,850 kg. It is being launched by GSLV MK-III M1 launch vehicle.
Scientific instruments on-board Chandrayaan-2: The orbiter will carry 8 scientific payloads for mapping of the lunar surface and outer atmosphere. The Lander will carry three scientific payloads while the Rover will carry two scientific payloads to conduct experiments on the moon's surface. Moreover, this time, a passive experiment from NASA will also be carried onboard Chandrayaan-2. The soft landing of the Vikram lander on the moon's surface is likely to be on September 6, 2019, mentioned the ISRO.
The mission life of Orbiter will be 365 days whereas the mission life of Vikram lander and Pragyaan Rover will be one Lunar day which is equal to fourteen earth days.
Goals of Chandrayaan-2: Chandrayaan-2 aims to widen the scientific objectives of Chandrayaan-1 by way of soft landing on the Moon and deploying a rover to study the lunar surface. I has always been important for space scientists around the world to study Moon as understanding the way in which moon was formed and evolved (gradually changed over a period of time) helps us to understand the history of the solar system as well as of earth.
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