Chandrayaan-2 : India 2nd Moon Mission About to Begin

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Last Update :- Chandrayaan-2 has successfully launched and now it is orbiting Earth.

Chandrayann-2
An illustration of India’s Chandrayaan-2 lunar spacecraft.
(Image: © ISRO)

Chandrayaan-2 is India’s scheduled second moon mission, which is anticipated to start in 2019. It is a follow-up task from the Chandrayaan-1 project that helped confirm the existence of water / hydroxyl on the moon in 2009. Chandrayaan-2 will launch by Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) spacecraft from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India.

According to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), this mission will consist of an orbiter, a lander and a rover.  The orbiter will carry out mapping from an altitude of 100 kilometers (62 miles), while the lander will create a smooth landing on the ground and send out the rover.

Development of Chandrayaan-2

In beginning, ISRO had intended to partner with Russia to conduct Chandrayaan-2. In 2007, the two organizations reached an arrangement to order the orbiter and lander in 2013. However, according to a media article, Russia subsequently walked out of the contract. Construction of the Russian lander was postponed after the inability of Roscosmos ‘ Phobos-Grunt expedition to the Martian moon of Phobos in December 2011, the study indicated.

Subsequently, Russia pulled out entirely of Chandrayaan-2, citing economic problems. Some accounts said that NASA and the European Space Agency were interested in engaging, but ISRO proceeded with the mission on its own.

The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter will orbit the moon and provide data about its surface, ISRO said. “The payloads will gather science data on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere, and hydroxyl and water-ice signatures,” ISRO said on its blog. The task will also bring a tiny, 20-kilogram (44 lbs.), six-wheeled spacecraft to the ground; the rover will travel semi-autonomously, examining the structure of the lunar regolith.

This is the list of instruments on the orbiter, according to the Planetary Society:

  • Terrain Mapping Camera 2 (TMC-2), which will map the lunar surface in three dimensions using two on-board cameras. A predecessor instrument called TMC flew on Chandrayaan-1.
  • Collimated Large Array Soft X-ray Spectrometer (CLASS), which will map the abundance of minerals on the surface. A predecessor instrument called CIXS (sometimes written as C1XS) flew on Chandrayaan-1.
  • Solar X-ray Monitor (XSM), which looks at emissions of solar X-rays.
  • Chandra’s Atmospheric Composition Explorer (ChACE-2), which is a neutral mass spectrometer. A predecessor instrument called CHACE flew on Chandrayaan-1’s Moon Impact Probe.
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), which will map the surface in radio waves. Some of its design is based on Chandrayaan-1’s MiniSAR.
  • Imaging Infra-Red Spectrometer (IIRS), which will measure the abundance of water/hydroxl on the surface.
  • Orbiter High Resolution Camera (OHRC) to examine the surface, particularly the landing site of the lander and rover.

The lander’s instruments include:

  • Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA), to look for moonquakes.
  • Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE), to examine the surface’s thermal properties.
  • Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive ionosphere and Atmosphere (RAMBHA-Langmuir Probe), to look at plasma density on the surface.

The rover will bring two science tools to examine the ground structure: the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) and the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS).

After Landing of Chandrayaan-2

According to a January 2018 report in Science magazine, Chandrayaan-2’s lander and rover are aimed at a place about 600 kilometers (375 miles) from the south pole, which would be the first time any task hit so far from the equator. ISRO intends to use the expertise for more difficult tasks in the future, such as touching down on an asteroid or Mars, or sending a spacecraft to Venus, IRSO chair Kailasavadivooo Sivan said in the post. The lander is supposed to last about one lunar day, or 14 Earth-days; it is uncertain whether it will rise after plunging into the fog of a lunar night. According to Science, its readings of moonquakes would provide more data after the information gathered by the human Apollo missions in the 1960s and 1970s.

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