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August 13, 2019

Chandrayaan 2- Pride of India Took Off on 22nd July

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India’s ambitious space mission to the Lunar South Pole, the Chandrayaan-2, was anchored to be launched on 15 July 2019 at 2:51 IST (14 July 2019 21:21 UTC). But due to technical glitches, the launch was rescheduled to 22nd July. The mission will deliver India headway into finding more about our radiant neighbor, thereby extending the country’s footprint in space.

Time and place of launch:

With the Chandrayaan-2 mission, India is attempting to become the fourth country after the Soviet Union, US, and China who have already originated their lunar missions. ISRO Chairman K Sivan announced that Chanrayaan-2 will be launched on 22 July 2019 at 2.43 PM IST and it will dock on South Pole of Moon by 7 September. Chandrayaan 2 took off aboard the most stalwart GSLV-Mk-III rocket called ‘Baahubali’. The preparation for the lift-off started at 6:43 pm on Sunday and it eventually ended with the rocket flying into the skies, bearing a “billion dreams” with it. On July 15, the launch was called off at T minus 56 minutes and 24 seconds before the programmed blast off at 1.55 am from the spaceport in Sriharikota following a mechanical problem in the rocket.

How it will Work:

This mission, called Chandrayaan 2, has three major parts — the Orbiter, the Lander Vikram and Rover Pragyan. The Orbiter and the Lander will be tucked into the GSLV Mk-III rocket, which will cast them at the moon. After the rocket enters space, the fairing i.e. the topmost portion of the rocket, departs and releases its payload. The orbiter-lander module will convey a series of five complex maneuvers around the Earth to mount momentum and slingshot itself closer to the moon. When the duo are apprehended by the moon’s orbit, the lander will disconnect itself from the orbiter to do a soft landing on the moon and will then deliver the rover onto the lunar surface.

Two of the devices are similar to those on Chandrayaan 1 – the Terrain Mapping Camera-2 (TMC-2) and the Miniature Synthetic Aperture Radar (Mini SAR). The Mini SAR device on Chandrayaan 1 was generated by NASA and it ran in only S-band frequencies with Hybrid Polarimetry. However, the dual-frequency SAR device produced by India can concurrently map the facade in both L- & S-band frequencies with complete polarimetric capabilities. The TMC-2 will outline the lunar surface and serve to prepare 3D maps of it. The SAR will also outline the surface while examining the water-ice in the South Pole and width of the lunar dust on the surface.

“We aim to enhance our understanding of the Moon, which could lead to findings that will help India and humanity as a whole. These insights and encounters will cause a standard shift in how lunar expeditions are proposed for years to come, driving further journeys into the farthest verges,” ISRO said in a report about the mission. 

Challenging features of Chandrayaan-2 mission

Some of the technological hurdles of this mission are:

  • The momentum system consisting of throttleable engines to assure landing at low touchdown velocity
  • Mission management – fuel management at multiple stages, engine burns, orbit, and trajectory design
  • Lander Development – Navigation, direction and control, sensors for navigation and risk avoidance, contact systems and lander leg mechanism for a soft touchdown
  • Rover Development – Roll down (from the lander) device, the roving mechanism (on the lunar surface), construction and testing of power systems, thermal systems, transmission and mobility systems

 Important Facts

  • Chandrayaan 2’s algorithm is fully developed by India’s scientific association.
  • Unlike Chandrayaan-1, Chandrayaan-2 will try to soft-land its Vikram module on the lunar surface and dispose a six-wheeled Rover, Pragyaan on the Moon to take out several scientific experiments.
  • The mission life of Chandrayaan-2’s Orbiter will be 1 year whereas the mission life of lander and rover will be 1 lunar day which is equivalent to 14 earth days.
  • At the latitude of about 70° south, Chandrayaan-2 will try to soft-land the lander -Vikram and rover- Pragyan in a high field between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N.
  • Chandrayaan 2’s Dual Frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar (DFSAR) will estimate the quantitative evaluation of water-ice in the Polar Regions.
  • Chandrayaan 2’s Solar X-ray Monitor (XSM) will see the X-rays released by the Sun and its corona, estimate the intensity of solar transmission in these rays, and support CLASS.
  • Chandrayaan-2 will examine water molecule distribution using infrared spectroscopy, artificial aperture radiometry & polarimetry as well as mass spectroscopy methods.

Why discover Lunar South Pole?

According to the specialists, lunar South Pole is very interesting as this lunar surface area always resides in shadow. It is also considered as much larger than that at the North Pole. Probability of the presence of water is very high in that part of the moon which is also called shadowed regions. Also, the South Pole region has craters that are cold nets and hold a fossil record of the early Solar System.

Cost of Chandrayaan-2 Mission

The total cost of the Chandrayaan-2 mission is about Rs 978 crore. The total price is including Rs 603 crore for the orbiter, lander, rover, flying and ground support system and Rs 375 crore for the big rocket – Geo-stationary Satellite Launch Vehicle with an innate cryogenic engine.

Chandrayaan 1- Brief mission history

The title Chandrayaan means Moon Craft in early Sanskrit, according to NASA. The Chandrayaan-1 spaceship was based on an Indian meteorological spacecraft called Kalpansat. It was about the size of a fridge, with a dry weight of about 525 kilograms (1,160 lbs.) and was powered by a solar pattern that charged lithium-ion batteries on board. 

Chandrayaan-1 took off on Oct. 22, 2008, from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India, aboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle spacecraft, according to NASA. It touched the moon on Nov. 8, 2008. The rocket delivered its Moon Impact Probe on Nov. 14, which dropped into the moon on the same day.

The rocket initially conducted its work from a mapping orbit at an elevation of 100 kilometers (62 miles), ISRO said. In May 2009, controllers boosted the orbit to 200 km (124 miles). Chandrayaan-1 made 3,400 orbits of the moon and proceeded to transmit data until Aug. 29, 2009, when controllers permanently lost contact with the rocket.

Chandrayaan-1 key achievements The Chandrayaan-1 found evidence of water on the moon-a path-breaking innovation in the world of space art. Chandrayaan-1 also found water ice in the North polar area of the Moon. It also discovered Magnesium, Aluminium, and Silicon on the lunar cover. Global imaging of the moon is a different accomplishment of this mission.

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