The upcoming weeks for Mahendragiri hills in the Western Ghats would be a rather busy and crowded one. The ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) is all set to begin its simulation tests for landing on our moon in this particular area.
The director of Liquid Propulsion System Centre at Mahendragiri, S. Somnath explained that the team needs to carry out the simulations with soft landing process in a gravity-less environment as observed on the moon. It would require a proper set of liquid engines that would help the possibility of controlling a landing that is based on thrust. The team has successfully completed the first set of tests.
The director further said that this particular mission is completely different from the Chandrayaan-1 mission. This latest mission with Chandrayaan-2 involves the use of a lander, orbiter as well as a six-wheeled rover that would help it move properly all around the landing site. The instruments aboard the Chandrayaan-2 would send back significant data related to the moon and its surface.
The ISRO chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar explained that the mission is yet to confirm a date. It is smooth on its schedule but the possible launch date is yet to be estimated which might be March or post that. He further said that the technology behind Launch Vehicle is rather complicated. Even when you have numerous successful ones, there can be an instance where something goes wrong and the mission fails like the PSLV-C39 rocket. The team is always prepared to learn from such failures, making the system better each day.
PSLV has a higher advantage over any other launch vehicle as it carries the capability of putting multiple satellites into the orbit. With the launch of the 700kg Cartosat-2 satellite series, the rocket was left with large unused capacity. Now, ISRO is recovering back the major amount spend on the vehicle with the launch of small satellites.
A manned space mission is always a possibility, said Kumar, but it requires a lot of resources to be provided by the government as the missions are highly critical one. On the technology side, the pad-abort test shall be conducted very soon.
The commands for the PSLV-C40 mission were provided via Navic constellation which was developed for India’s GPS system. With the use of Navic constellation, the scientists can directly send commands from the constellation instead of the ground. This will help when the satellite isn’t visible from the surface below but visible from the upper space.
Now, ISRO has planned the whole target for the New Year with one launch each month. This is a huge challenge for the organization as the correct inflow of supply chains has to be maintained with proper assembly as well as the integration of required software and hardware. The space organization shall use GSLV-MK-II satellites to launch the Chandrayaan-2 mission and the GSAT-6A satellite. The year 2018 shall also mark the initiation on GSLV-MK-III rocket along with a communication satellite. The new rocket shall also launch a navigation satellite. Apart from this, a GSAT-11 shall also be launched, which will have about 32 beams overlooking the Indian subcontinent.