Chandrayaan 2 is an Indian lunar mission that will courageously go where no country has ever gone before the Moon’s south polar region

Chandrayan 2 is on a mission unlike any before which will be launched from Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota onboard GSLV Mk-III on 15th July 2019. It will be supported in achieving its mission by some of India’s most high-level engineering marvels. 

Its combined module, which covers technology and software developed across the country, includes ISRO’s most powerful launch vehicle to date and a wholly original rover.

Through this work, the aim is to increase the understanding of the Moon data that will profit India and humanity as a whole. These penetrations and experiences pointed at a paradigm shift in how lunar expeditions are proposed for years to come launching further voyages into the farthest frontiers. (1)

Why are we going to the Moon?

The Moon is the nearest cosmic body at which space discovery can be tried and documented. It is also a hopeful testbed to demonstrate the technologies needed for deep-space missions. 

Chandrayaan 2 strives to foster a new age of discovery, improve our understanding of space, stimulate the elevation of technology, promote global connections, and encourage a future generation of explorers and scientists. (2)

What are the scientific goals of Chandrayaan 2? Why explore the Lunar South Pole?

Moon presents the best linkage to Earth’s early history. It allows an uninterrupted historical record of the inner Solar system environment. Though there are a few developed models, the origin of the Moon still needs additional explanations. 

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

Evidence for water molecules discovered by Chandrayaan-1, requires more studies on the extent of water molecule distribution on the surface, below the surface and in the fine lunar exosphere to address the origin of water on Moon.

The lunar South Pole is particularly interesting because of the lunar surface area here that rests in shadow is much larger than that at the North Pole. 

There is a chance of the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas around it. In addition, the South Pole region has craters that are cold traps and carry a fossil record of the early Solar System.

Thus, Chandrayaan-2 will try 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. (3)

Chandrayan 2 ready for moonwalk:

 Chandrayan 2 will be inserted into an earth parking 170 x40400 km orbit. A series of tactics will be carried out to raise its orbit and put Chandrayaan-2 on Lunar Transfer Trajectory. 

On entering Moon’s sphere of control, onboard thrusters will slow down the spacecraft for Lunar Capture. The Orbit of Chandrayaan-2 around the moon will be circularized to 100×100 km orbit through a range of orbital maneuvers. 

On the day of landing, the lender will depart from the Orbiter and then play a series of complex movements comprising of rough braking and fine braking. Imaging of the landing site region earlier 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 6th September 2019. Finally, Rover will roll out and carry out investigations on Lunar surface for a period of 1 Lunar day which is equal to 14 Earth days. The orbiter will proceed with its mission for a duration of one year. (4)

What are the scientific goals of Chandrayaan 2? Why explore the Lunar South Pole?

Moon presents the best linkage to Earth’s early history. It allows an uninterrupted historical record of the inner Solar system environment. Though there are a few developed models, the origin of the Moon still needs additional explanations. 

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

Evidence for water molecules discovered by Chandrayaan-1, requires more studies on the extent of water molecule distribution on the surface, below the surface and in the fine lunar exosphere to address the origin of water on Moon.

The lunar South Pole is particularly interesting because of the lunar surface area here that rests in shadow is much larger than that at the North Pole. 

There is a chance of the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas around it. In addition, the South Pole region has craters that are cold traps and carry a fossil record of the early Solar System.

Thus, Chandrayaan-2 will try 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. (4)

Orbiter:

  • Weight- 2,379 kg
  • Electric Power Generation Capability- 1,000 W

 

At the moment of launch, the Chandrayaan 2 Orbiter will be able to communicate 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 set in a 100X100 km lunar polar orbit.

Lander- Vikram:

  • Weight- 1,471 kg
  • Electric Power Generation Capability- 650 W

The Lander of Chandrayaan 2 is titled Vikram after Dr. Vikram A Sarabhai, the Father of the Indian Space Programme. It is created to function for one lunar day, which is equal to about 14 Earth days.

Vikram has the ability to communicate with IDSN at Byalalu near Bangalore, as well as with the Orbiter and Rover. The Lander is devised to achieve a soft landing on the lunar surface.

Rover- Pragyan:

  • Weight- 27 kg
  • Electric Power Generation Capability- 50 W

Chandrayaan 2’s Rover is a 6-wheeled robotic vehicle called Pragyan, which translates to ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit. It can explore up to 500 m (½-a-km) and leverages solar energy for its functioning. It can only interact with the Lander. (5)

Science experiment:

Leveraging nearly a decade of scientific research and engineering development, India’s second lunar explorer will scatter light on a completely unexplored section of the Moon, it’s South Polar region. 

This mission will support us gain a better understanding of the origin and evolution of the Moon by sending detailed topographical studies, comprehensive mineralogical analyses, and a host of other experiments on the lunar surface. 

While there, it will also investigate discoveries made by Chandrayaan 1, such as the presence of water molecules on the Moon and new rock types with different chemical composition. 

The Orbiter payloads will carry remote-sensing observations from a 100 km orbit while the Lander and Rover payloads will do in-situ measurements near the landing site. (6) 

ISRO Launch View Gallery:

ISRO provides a limited number of visitors to witness the launch from the spaceport of India, which is trivial compared to the demand today. In order to cater this ever-increasing interest for witnessing rocket launches, ISRO has come out with a visitor’s gallery at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. 

In the first phase, 5,000 capacity Launch Viewing Gallery is built in the form of a stadium, and placed at a proper location with a clear line of a scene to the two launch pads of the Sriharikota Range. The visitors can view the launch from this gallery in real-time with naked eyes. 

Large screens are also installed to visually explain the various complexities of launcher and satellites. In addition, pre and post-launch projects will be telecasted and explained through these screens to the viewers. (7)

 

To Know more about the space, refer: 

Chandrayan 1 and 2

NASA’s Space Mission To Sun

ISRO’s Earth Observation Satellite

Water Reservoir In MARS