Now India is all set to mark its presence on the moon. The last time any country put boots on the moon was in 2013 when China landed its Yutu rover. Before that, you’d have to see back to the 1970s to find anything made by Earthlings that lodged out on the surface of the Moon. ISRO is getting ready to land its very first lunar rover by the end of March 2018, as part of its Chandrayaan-2 mission. This is not ISRO’s first mission towards the moon, but it is the Indian government’s most ambitious moon research project till date.
Chandrayaan-1 Fired off from Sriharikota island off the East coast of India in 2008, at an evaluated value of $83 million. The ISRO’s 5 foot by 5-foot cube made it into lunar orbit and discovered some “magmatic water” on a moon pit.
Then, on November 14, 2008, the spacecraft smashed into the moon and got missed in lunar orbit before NASA noticed the “derelict spacecraft” over in 2016.
ISRO is now developing three unmanned vehicles for the mission established in India involving an orbiter spacecraft to float above the moon’s surface, a rover, and a lander to help the landing of the rover safely on the moon. This lunar mission will utilize and test several new technologies and conduct more experiments. The wheeled rover will drive on the lunar surface and will perform a chemical investigation on site. The information will be transmitted to Earth through the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter.
Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the Moon is an entirely original mission including of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover. After approaching the 100 km lunar orbit, the Lander covering the Rover will depart from the Orbiter. After a controlled fall, the Lander will soft land on the lunar surface at a particularised site and dispose of the Rover.
This mission will carry a six-wheeled Rover which will travel around the landing site in the semi-autonomous mode as chosen by the ground commands. The instruments on the rover will examine the lunar surface and send back data, which will be useful for investigation of the lunar soil. The Chandrayaan-2 is measuring around 3290 kg and would orbit around the moon and achieve the objectives of remote sensing the moon. The payloads will accumulate scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signs of hydroxyl and water-ice. As per the space agency, scientists will use Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mk II) to lift up the lunar lander in early parts of 2018. This will be the ISRO’s first effort to get a more refined and precise up-close look at the lunar surface.
The Indian space agency started taking giant leaps in the space field of space exploration with its Chandrayaan-1 mission which was followed by the award winning Mars Orbiter Mission. The Indian Space Research Organisation also won Space Pioneer Award 2015 for the Mangalyaan mission and got featured in Time’s magazine. Other countries have also started calling upon ISRO for their satellite launches. The next lunar mission will further strengthen ISRO’s foothold in space exploration.
As Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region explained, India has emerged as one of the successful nations in the field of Space and made the dreams of the founders of the Indian Space Program come true which included eminent personalities like Vikram Sarabhai and Satish Dhawan. The guest of honour at this inaugural session, ISRO Chief AS Kiran Kumar states the various measures being taken by ISRO to help through the disaster management across the nation.
As reported in the plans by ISRO, the Chandrayaan-2 mission shall have a lunar orbiter along with a soft lander as well as a semi-autonomous rover. To help through the increased payload, ISRO has been planning to use the GSLV MKII on behalf of its “workhorse” rocket, PSLV which was used for the first Moon mission. The lander, rover and the orbiter will be performing some mineralogical and elemental studies of the lunar surface during its course of stay beyond Earth.
Earlier in a press meet, confirmed the current head of ISRO – Mr AS Kiran Kumar in a press meet.The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s second Moon exploration mission is going to hit the skies in the first quarter of 2018.
The ISRO person in command – Mr AS Kiran Kumar, while presenting his speech at the seventh yearly convocation of Vels University, Chennai on Wednesday confirmed that India’s most ambitious lunar mission is currently in the experimental stage and are being tested for a controlled touchdown of moon’s surface during the landing time. At the first quarter of next year, the spacecraft will take wings into skies.
According to the statement of ISRO’ head, the agency is currently busy in developing an engine that enables astronomers and scientists to make the spacecraft a controlled landing on the surface of the moon. The mission is currently scheduled to have effect in the first quarter of 2018. ISRO’s scientists have already developed an artificial crater that will simulate the conditions of the lunar surface, resulting in a practical, convenient, and realistic landing try-out. Kiran Kumar, during his speech also revealed that a series of ground tests for the Chandrayaan-2 Mission is also in the pipeline and soon will be carried out in the research facilities of ISRO.
To recall, Chandrayaan-2 is the second lunar exploration mission of India, following the Chandrayaan-1, which was launched on 22 October 2008. Like its predecessor, the second lunar mission is entirely owned and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and is planned to set afloat to the Moon in the first quarter of 2018. ISRO, through a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mk II), will send its second lunar space probe to the skies. The mission objectives include the launch of a lunar orbiter, a Lander and Lunar Rover, all developed by ISRO.
As stated by ISRO’s head earlier, the Chandrayaan-2 mission will embark new technologies and scientific advancements for conducting new experiments on Moon. The wheeled rover, which is included with the mission will be in motion on the surface of the moon for collecting the soil or rock samples of the moon, which later will be put for on-site chemical analysis. The aftermath of the experiment later will be transmitted to Earth through the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter. The second lunar mission will help India to gather a number of essential data regarding the only natural satellite of Earth. The mission will also mark India’s footstep in global space industry much stronger and deeper.