Your ‘curiosity’ and ‘love’ for space and celestial objects is no lesser than an Astronaut. And your curious love has led you to find out more about the most famous celestial celebrity of all time, ‘The Moon’.
Since the dawn of time, our ‘Moon’ has been the fascination and inspiration for Love, Mythical Stories, Life and most important of all ‘discovery’ of most of the things that have bought us to where we are today. Moon has been the fuel for ‘curiosity’.
And this curiosity has just reached a whole new level as India’s all set to touch the moon for the 2nd time with ‘Chandrayaan-2’ mission.
As the launch of the mission had to be called off on 15th July, T-56 minutes to launch, due to a technical glitch in the rocket, Chandrayaan-2 launch has been rescheduled on 22nd July [Monday] at around 2:43 pm.
Fun Fact: In 2008, India launched its first moon mission “Chandrayaan-1” which was later responsible for the confirmation of presence of water on the Moon with the help of Nasa’s “Moon Mineralogy Mapper [M3]”.
Chandrayaan-2 Mission Details :
Chandrayaan-2’s mission is to gather precious information on Lunar Topography, Mineralogy, Exosphere, Elemental Abundance and Signatures of Hydroxyl and Water-ice.
> This mission will be launched aboard ‘GSLV-MK III’ Launch vehicle [It’s a 3-stage medium-lift launch vehicle indigenously developed by Indian Space Research Organization].
> Chandrayaan-2 will be launched from ‘Satish Dhawan Space Center’ in ‘Sriharikota’.
> Chandrayaan-2 has 3 components in total.
* Orbiter [2,379kg]
* Lander [1,471kg]
* Rover [27kg]
> The mission has a combined weight of 3,877kg [5,245lbs].
> Each component has multiple payloads for multiple roles.
Orbiter Payload :
> Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer [LASS].
> Solar X-ray monitor [XSM] works on mapping major elements present on the lunar surface.
> L&S land Synthetic Aperture Radar [SAR] works for detecting and confirming the evidence of presence of water ice below the shadowed regions of the Moon.
> Imaging IR Spectrometer [IIRS] to study minerals, water molecules, and hydroxyl presence by mapping the lunar surface over a wide wavelength range.
> Neutral Mass Spectrometer [ChACE-2] To study the ‘Exosphere’ of the Moon.
> Terrain Mapping Camera-2 [TMC-2] to create the latest 3D map essential for studying the lunar mineralogy and geology.
Vikram Lander Payload :
> Thermal Probe – To calculate the lunar surface’s thermal properties.
> Seismometer – To study Moon-quakes near the landing zone.
> Langmuir Probe – To estimate the variation and density of lunar surface plasma.
> Laser Retro Reflector [LRA] – To measure the distance between Earth and Moon.
> Radio Occultation Experiment – To survey the total electron content.
Interesting Fact: NASA’s passive payload – ‘LRA’ will be integrated with ISRO’s ‘Vikram’ Lander and will be carried onboard GSLV MK III to Moon with free of charge to reflect the strong bond between ISRO and NASA.
Pragyan Rover Payload :
> Alpha Particle Induced X-ray Spectron scope [APIXS].
> Laser-induced Breakdown Spectroscopy.
> The duration of the mission.
* Orbiter – 1 Year.
* Lander – 15 Earth Days (or) One Lunar Day.
* Rover – 15 Earth Days (or) One Lunar Day
> Chandrayaan-2 would take 20 days to reach the Moon’s surface.
> It is the world’s 1st space mission to conduct ‘soft landing’ on Moon’s South Polar region.
> India will be the 4th country [right next to USA, Russia, and China] to soft land on the lunar surface.
This is how the mission works…
> GSLV MK III will be launched from ‘Satish Dhawan Space Centre’ in Shriharikota at 2:51 am in the morning with Chandrayaan-2 integrated module onboard.
> The Integrated Chandrayaan-2 Module [IC2M] gets separated from its boosters once reaching the ‘Geosynchronous transfer orbit’ and embark on its maiden voyage to the Moon.
> The IC2M will then move in an elliptical orbit for 16 days around the Earth to set its trajectory path. Then the IC2M will perform a series of ‘Trans-lunar injection’ burns to reach the Moon’s orbit [Trans-lunar injection burns are meant to increase the velocity of spacecraft to change its orbit from circular low Earth orbit to reach the Moon’s vicinity].
> It takes 6 days as the Moon’s position is on a constant move.
Interesting Fact: ISRO uses NASA’s network of deep space centers for guidance and tracking of Chandrayaan-2 module during its journey.
> The IC2M will revolve around the Moon on its orbit at 27 days to deorbit the ‘Lander Vikram’ on its surface.
> The Lander ‘Vikram’ will take 4 days to descend to 30kms to the Moon’s surface.
> The lander will land in a high plain between 2 craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N at a latitude of about 70’s.
> The ‘soft landing’ of lander ‘Vikram’ on the Moon’s surface from a height of 30kms will take 15 minutes.
> ISRO Chairman K.Sivan said, “These 15 minutes of final descent and soft landing will be the most complex mission”.
> After the landing of ‘Vikram’ is successful, the integrated rover ‘Pragyan’ will roll off and move at a speed of 1cm per second to cover a distance of 500 meters in its lifetime [less than15 days].
> During its lifetime, ‘Pragyan’ will carry out different scientific experiments with its 2 payloads.
> ‘Pragyan’ is tasked to image its surrounding and analyze the content on the lunar surface. The data will then be transferred back to Earth in 15 minutes through the
> Chandrayaan-2 will pave way for deeper studies of the Moon and may possibly be the answer for the question on Planetary Evolution.