Published: Thu, June 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

India unveils spacecraft for moon-landing mission

India unveils spacecraft for moon-landing mission

Once Chandrayaan 2 reaches the moon's orbit, it will revolve around the moon for 27 days to de-orbit the lander on its surface. After four more days, the lander will land in a hard manouevre that lasts 15 minutes. "It is going to be the most complex mission ever undertaken by ISRO".

"In future, the nation will depend more on planetary missions". It will also find the exact location of the lander on the moon.

ISRO had said earlier that eight payloads on Orbiter, three on lander and two on Rover and one passive experiment from NASA would be carried on Chandrayaan-2.

According to him, there is both convenience and science involved for choosing the South Pole.

All together, the instruments will study the chemical composition of the lunar surface up to a depth of few tens of metres, its thermal characteristics, surface plasma, distribution of minerals, the lunar exosphere, quakes on the Moon, etc.

India on Wednesday unveiled a spacecraft which is expected to take off for the moon next month, making the country only the fourth to achieve the feat.

From the time of Lander landing on the surface to theRover to come out and land on the surface will take four hours, according to him. "The rover will move at the speed of 1 cm per second", Sivan added.

Unveiling the spacecraft, ISRO chairman K. Sivan said Chandrayaan-2 will be launched on 15 July at 2.15 am from the spaceport of Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. Nasa's Deep Space Network (DSN) is a worldwide network of U.S. spacecraft communication facilities, located in California, Madrid in Spain and Australia's Canberra, that supports the United States interplanetary spacecraft missions.

The rover and the lander of the mission will have a life of one lunar day, which is equal to 14 earth days, though the orbiter has a life of one year.

The mission costs ₹603 crore for the spacecraft system and ₹375 crore for the launcher, a GSLV-MKIII.

Following this, the Lander will separate from the Orbiter and soft land at a predetermined site close to the lunar South Pole.

The Orbiter and Lander will be able to communicate with earth directly while the Rover will share information, images and data to the Lander which inturn will shared with ISRO.

Sivan said that it will be launched using Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III). At least two of them will land on the moon's South Pole and conduct research.

After launch into earth-bound orbit by GSLV MK-III, the integrated module will reach the Moon orbit using Orbiter propulsion module.

Once it touches down, the rover will carry out experiments while being controlled remotely by ISRO scientists.

Chandrayaan-2 is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission, which was launched about 10 years ago.

Chandrayaan 1 had 11 payloads - five from India, three from Europe, two from United States of America, 1 from Bulgaria and the mission was credited with the discovery of water on the lunar surface.

Upon launch, the GSLV rocket will travel east for 15 minutes and release the spacecraft into an eccentric orbit of 178 x 38,000 km.

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