The Primary Objective of Chandrayaan 2 Misson 2019 is to demonstrate the ability to Soft-Land on the Lunar Surface and Operate a Robotic Rover on the surface. Scientific goals include studies of Lunar Topography, Mineralogy, Elemental Abundance, the Lunar Exosphere, and Signatures of Hydroxyl and Water Ice.
India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV MkIII-M1 Successfully launched Chandrayaan-2 Spacecraft at 2:43 p.m. IST on July 22, 2019, into its Planned Orbit with a Perigee (Nearest Point to Earth) of 169.7 km and an Apogee (Farthest Point to Earth) of 45475 Km. The launch took place from the Second Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.
At the time of launch, the Chandrayaan 2 Orbiter will be capable of communicating with Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) at Byalalu as well as the Vikram Lander. The mission life of the Orbiter is one year and it will be placed in a 100X100 km lunar polar orbit.
Dimensions: 3.2 × 5.8 × 2.2 m
Gross Lift-off mass: 2,379 kg (5,245 lb)
Propellant Mass: 1,697 kg (3,741 lb)
Dry Mass: 682 kg (1,504 lb)
Power Generation capacity: 1000 W
Mission Duration: 1 year in lunar orbit, which may be extended to 2 years.
The Lander of Chandrayaan 2 is named Vikram after Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, the Father of the Indian Space Programme. It is designed to function for one lunar day, which is equivalent to about 14 Earth days. Vikram has the capability to communicate with IDSN at Byalalu near Bangalore, as well as with the Orbiter and Rover. The Lander is designed to execute a soft landing on the lunar surface.
Dimensions: 2.54 × 2 × 1.2 m
Gross lift-off mass: 1,471 kg (3,243 lb)
Propellant mass: 845 kg (1,863 lb)
Dry mass: 626 kg (1,380 lb)
Power generation capability: 650 W
Mission duration: ≤14 days (one lunar day)
Chandrayaan 2’s Rover is a 6-wheeled robotic vehicle named Pragyan, which translates to ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit. It can travel up to 500 m (½-a-km) and leverages solar energy for its functioning. It can only communicate with the Lander.
Dimensions: 0.9 × 0.75 × 0.85 m
Power: 50 W
Travel speed: 1 cm/sec.
Mission duration: ≤14 days (one lunar day)
What are the scientific objectives of Chandrayaan 2?
Moon provides the best linkage to 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 the Moon still needs further explanations. Extensive mapping of the lunar surface to study variations in lunar surface composition is essential to trace back the origin and evolution of the Moon.
Why explore the Lunar South Pole?
The lunar South Pole is especially interesting because of the lunar surface area here that 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.
What makes Chandrayaan 2 special?
1st space mission to conduct a soft landing on the Moon’s south polar region, 1st Indian expedition to attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface with home-grown technology, 1st Indian mission to explore the lunar terrain with home-grown technology, 4th country ever to soft-land on the lunar surface
Chandrayaan – 2 Lander goes silent. What Now?
Isro has a number of data sets to go over those sent back by Vikram before it went incommunicado as well as those possibly captured by various Earth-based space communications devices. Isro is also making constant attempts to re-establish communication with the Vikram lander.
So, has Chandrayaan – Failed?
Not at all. Landing a rover on the Moon was just one no matter how ambitious part of the Chandrayaan-2 mission. In fact, the lander Vikram and rover Pragyaan combined carried a lesser number of experiments (five) than the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, which has onboard eight scientific payloads.
What’s Next For ISRO?
Indian Space Research Organisation will be tied up in investigating what happened to the Chandrayaan-2 lander during its descent on to the lunar surface.
But the space agency will also soon get busy with equally ambitious missions and projects it has lined up. These include sending a probe to the Sun, preparing for the second Mars orbiter mission, exploring the possibility of a sending a spacecraft to Venus.
The most ambitious of these missions, and the most ambitious space mission in India’s history is the Gaganyaan mission under which Isro will send three Indians to space on an Indian spacecraft. The Gaganyaan mission is a tie-up between Isro and Indian military the latter will select and train crewpersons for the mission (a process that has already begun).
Chandrayaan 2 Misson 2019 – Different type of significance
1. Global Power: If successful, India will be the fourth country (After Russia, China, and the USA) to land a rover on the moon.
2. Indigenous mission: 13 instruments from India, one instrument from US space agency, NASA.
3. Future Space Exploration: mission will also expand the country’s footprint in space as a moon is the perfect test-bed for proving technologies required for future space exploration.
Chandrayaan 2 Mission 2019 – Complexities Involved in a Moon Landing
There are different types of problems involved in a moon landing:
Communication hurdle: Owing to the large distance from Earth, radio signals, which need to be picked up, would be weak.
Lunar dust: Firing engines close to the lunar surface results in the backward flow of gases and dust, causing hindrance to deployment mechanism and damaging sensors.
Extreme temperatures: A lunar day or night lasts 14 earth days, resulting in extreme surface temperature.
Trans-lunar injection, capture: series of engine burns to get close to the moon, intersection of probe and moon must be predicted in advance with accuracy.
Orbiting: The lumpy lunar gravity influences the orbit of the spacecraft.
Published On: September 8, 2019