Science 03 Jul 2019 Ambitious Chandrayaa ...

Ambitious Chandrayaan-2 project nears launch date

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | PATHRI RAJASEKHAR
Published Jul 3, 2019, 1:24 am IST
Updated Jul 3, 2019, 1:24 am IST
The mission confirmed the presence of water molecules on the moon’s surface.
Chandrayaan-2 is the second Indian lunar mission that will boldly where no country has ever gone before — the moon's south polar region.
 Chandrayaan-2 is the second Indian lunar mission that will boldly where no country has ever gone before — the moon's south polar region.

Nellore: The team of engineers and scientists at Satish Dhawan Space Centre have been working almost round the clock for the prestigious launch of the long awaited Chandrayaan-2 Mission scheduled for the small hours of July 15 from SHAR in SPSR Nellore district.

It may be recalled that the first mission to the moon, Chandrayaan 1, was launched successfully on October 22, 2008, from Shar. The mission confirmed the presence of water molecules on the moon’s surface.

 

Chandrayaan-2 is the second Indian lunar mission that will boldly where no country has ever gone before — the moon's south polar region. Through this effort, the aim is to improve our understanding of the moon — discoveries that will benefit India and humanity as a whole, say ISRO scientists.

According to Isro scientists, one of the reasons for the mission is that the moon is the closest cosmic body at which space discovery can be attempted and documented. It is also a promising test bed to demonstrate technologies required for deep-space missions.

Chandrayaan 2 attempts to foster a new age of discovery, increase our understanding of space, stimulate the advancement of technology, promote global alliances, and inspire a future generation of explorers and scientists.

The moon provides the best linkage to the earth’s early history. It offers an undisturbed historical record of the inner solar system environment.

Though there are a few mature models, the origin of Moon still needs further explanations.

Extensive mapping of lunar surface to study variations in lunar surface composition is essential to trace back the origin and evolution of the Moon.

The lunar South Pole is especially interesting because the lunar surface area, which remains in shadow, is much larger than that at the North Pole. There is a possibility of the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas around it.

In addition, the South Pole region has craters that are cold traps and contain a fossil record of the early solar system.

Accordingly, Chandrayaan-2 will attempt to soft land the lander -Vikram and rover- Pragyan in a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, at a latitude of about 70° south.

Spacecraft to land on Moon on Sept. 6

Chandrayaan-2 will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota on-board GSLV Mk-III on July 15, 2019. It will be injected into an earth parking 170 x40400 km orbit.

A series of maneuvers will be carried out to raise its orbit and put Chandrayaan-2 on the lunar transfer trajectory.

On entering the moon’s sphere of influence, on-board thrusters will slow down the spacecraft for lunar capture. The orbit of Chandrayaan-2 around the moon will be circularized to 100x100 km orbit through a series of orbital maneuvers.

On the day of landing, the lander will separate from the orbiter and then perform a series of complex maneuvers comprising of rough braking and fine braking.

Imaging of the landing site region prior to landing will be done for finding safe and hazard-free zones. The lander-Vikram will finally land near the South Pole of the moon on September 6, 2019.

Subsequently, Rover will roll out and carry out experiments on the lunar surface for a period of 1 lunar day which is equal to 14 earth days.

Orbiter will continue its mission for a duration of one year. Chandrayaan 2 will be aided in achieving its mission by some of India's most advanced engineering marvels.

Its integrated module, which comprises technology and software developed across the country, includes ISRO's most powerful launch vehicle to date and a wholly indigenous rover.

Some of the advancements on the spacecraft include a lander capable of soft landing on the lunar surface, an algorithm wholly developed by India's scientific community and a rover capable of conducting in-situ payload experiments.

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