Chandrayaan-2: Everything you need to know about Moon Mission
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched India’s 2nd moon exploration project called the Chandrayaan-2 which is a historic project that aims to explore the Lunar South Pole which is still unexplored.
Launch Date and Time: 22nd July 2019, 2:43 PM (IST)
Launch Location: Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota
Launch Vehicle: Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III(GSLV MARK-III)
Landing Attempt on the moon: 7th September 2019
Contact loss with the Vikram Lander: 7th September 2019, around 2:00 AM
Launch Weight: 3,850 kg
Cost: USD 140 Million or Rs. 978 crore (approx.)
- Mapping of the surface of the Moon.
- Study the origin and distribution of water molecules found by Chandrayaan – 1.
- Exploration of the Lunar South Pole which is still unexplored.
- To study the density of the electrons in the Moon’s ionosphere that is ionized by radiation.
What made it Special?
- It attempted to be the 1st space mission which aims to soft-land on the Lunar South Pole.
- It attempted to be the 1st Indian Mission that aims to conduct a soft landing on the lunar surface with indigenously-manufactured technology.
- It attempted to be the 4th country to soft-land on the moon.
The Chandrayaan 2 consists of a Launcher, an Orbiter, the Vikram Lander and the Pragyan Rover.
The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III (GSLV MARK-III) is India’s most powerful satellite launcher which is completely designed and manufactured in India. It is also known as the ‘ Baahubali’ rocket and is India’s heaviest and most powerful launch vehicle made by ISRO.
The Orbiter is circling the moon at a radius of 100 KM’s and inspected the landing site of the moon before the Vikram Lander was detached from it. The Orbiter is also managing all communications with the Earth as the other communiction with “Vikram” lander was lost .
The orbiter of Chandrayaan 2 is carring the following tools to help it study the lunar surface:
- Terrain Mapping Camera 2 (TMC 2) – TMC 2 is a miniature version of the Terrain Mapping Camera that was used on the Chandrayaan 1 mission. Its main objective is to map the moon’s topography.
- The Chandrayaan-2 Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer (CLASS) – This equipment is used to examine the presence of major minerals on the moon such as Magnesium, Silicon, Calcium, Aluminum, Titanium, Iron, and Sodium.
- Solar X-ray Monitor (XSM) -The XSM is installed to study the X-rays emitted by the Sun to correctly analyze the data collected on the moon.
- Orbiter High Resolution Camera (OHRC)– The OHRC fitted in the Chandrayaan 2 will provide high-resolution images of the landing site to ensure safe landing of the Chandrayaan 2 The images captured will also be used to study the surface of the moon.
- Dual Frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar (DFSAR) – This device will carry out High-resolution mapping if the moon’s surface and give an estimation of water-ice in the region.
- Chandrayaan 2 Atmospheric Compositional Explorer 2 (CHACE 2) – This equipment will continue the CHACE experiment carried out by Chandrayaan 1. The main objective of CHACE 2 is to study the lunar neutral exosphere.
- Dual Frequency Radio Science (DFRS) – This device onboard the Chandrayaan 2 orbiter will help study the lunar ionosphere too.
The Vikram Lander
The Vikram Lander is named after Vikram Sarabhai who is a pioneer scientist in India’s space programs.
Chandrayaan-2 aimed be the First Lunar Mission to conduct a soft landing on the lunar South Pole region of the moon, thanks to the Made-in-India Vikram Lander.
The Vikram Lander will carry the following tools to help the Chandrayaan 2
achieve its objective:
- Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive ionosphere and
Atmosphere (RAMBHA) – This tool is used to study the highly dynamic lunar-ionosphere conditions.
- Chandra’s Surface Thermo-physical Experiment (ChaSTE) – ChaSTE
measures the vertical temperature of the moon.
- Instrument of Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) – ILSA is a seismometer that is used to detect lunar earthquakes.
The Vikram Lander maneuvered its way to the surface of the moon on 7 thSeptember 2019 at 1:30 AM but in the Last 15 minutes of it’s landing at around 2:00 AM, The Vikram Lander lost communication with the Earth 2.1 KM’s above the surface of the moon.
The Pragyan Rover
The solar-powered 6 wheeled vehicle weighing 27 Kg’s was expected to explore the Lunar surface and study lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance and the lunar exosphere for a span of 14 Earth days or 1 Lunar day as it is incapable of surviving the Cold Lunar Night.
The Pragyan rover has 2 tools which will help it study the lunar South Pole:
- The Laboratory for Electro Optic Systems (LEOS) in Bengaluru has
developed a Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS). The LIBS
aims to identify the various elements that can be found near the
landing area on the moon.
- The second instrument is the Alpha Particle Induced X-ray
Spectroscope (APIXS) from the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in
Ahmedabad. Its primary objective is to inspect the composition of
the elements founds near the landing site.
- Kailasavadivoo Sivan – Chairperson, ISRO
- Mylswamy Annadurai – Project Director, Chandrayaan-2
- Ritu Karidhal – Mission Director, Chandrayaan-2
- Muthayya Vanitha – Project Director, Chandrayaan-2
18th September, 2008 – Manmohan Singh approves the Chandrayaan 2 mission
Launch Date – July 22, 2019
Attempted landing on the Moon – Sep 7, 2019
Estimated experiment time on the Moon – 1 lunar day (14 earth days)
Orbital Experiment – Will be active for 1 year
Mission report of the Chandrayaan
Despite losing all communications with the Earth, It is potentially possible that the Vikram might have landed successfully. Even though all communication is lost with the Vikram Lander, 95% of the Chandrayaan 2’s mission objective can still be completed as the Orbiter is functioning properly.
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