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Chandrayaan-2: ISRO to launch it in April 2018

Chandrayaan-2: ISRO to launch it in April 2018

The Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) that is in charge of space affairs informed that India's most ambitious space mission yet, Chandrayaan-2, that hopes to place a robotic rover on the moon, will be launched aboard GSLV-F10 as soon as April 2018.

Main Highlights of Chandrayaan-2

  • Chandrayaan-2, India's second mission to the Moon is a totally indigenous mission comprising of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover.
  • The total cost of developing and sending Chandrayaan-2 in space is Rs 800 crore.
  • After reaching the 100 km lunar orbit, the Lander housing the Rover will separate from the Orbiter. After a controlled descent, the Lander will soft land on the lunar surface at a specified site and deploy a Rover.
  • The mission will carry a six-wheeled Rover which will move around the landing site in semi-autonomous mode as decided by the ground commands.
  • The instruments on the rover will observe the lunar surface and send back data, which will be useful for analysis of the lunar soil.
  • The Chandrayaan-2 weighing around 3290 kg and would orbit around the moon and perform the objectives of remote sensing the moon.
  • The payloads will collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice.
  • The unique spacecraft will carry 13 scientific instruments that will study the moon like never before.

ISRO seeks to land Chandrayaan-2 very close to the South Pole of the moon, a very tricky place to land. All 12 other moon landings have always been on the lunar equatorial region, this region with its unique geology will give new insights on the origin of the universe.

Chandrayaan-1

India's Chandrayaan-1 mission was an orbiter which carried five payloads of ISRO and six payloads of USA, Britain, Bulgaria and the European Space Agency. It cost Rs. 450 crore and was launched using India's workhorse rocket, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-11 in 2008.

Only USA, Russia and China have been able to soft-land spacecraft on the lunar surface. If India succeeds, it will be a huge achievement for space agency ISRO that has a budget almost 20 times less than US space agency NASA.

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