India is an emerging agency in space exploration. After its Mars mission (Mars Orbiter Mission, aka MOM) went successful, the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) has progressed much in planning for its future space expeditions, and now it’s set for a lunar mission, namely Chandrayaan 2, the successor the Chandrayaan-1 which discovered the presence of water on Earth’s moon.
The word Channdrayaan is derived from two Sanskrit word, “Chandra” meaning “Moon” and “Yaan” meaning “Vehicle”.The mission is just 3 months away, planned to be launched in October 2018. Here are some key points which you would be fascinated to know about:
- The Mission was originally a Joint project between ROSCOSMOS (Russian Federal Space Agency) and ISRO and planned to launch by 2013. Since ROSCOSMOS wasn’t able to provide the lander on time, the mission was rescheduled to 2016. Later the Russian Agency withdrew because of failure of the Phobos-Grunt mission to Mars. ISRO decided to build the lander itself and hence it was again postponed to occur in 2018.
- Chandrayaan-2 is planned to be launched by GSLV Mk II(Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark 2) at ISRO’s Satish Dhawan Space Center located on Sriharikota island. The mission will have an approximate lift mass of 3250 kg.
- The Mission includes an Orbiter, Lander, and a Rover. The orbiter is planned to last for about 1 year while the other two shall only last about for 14-15 days. The orbiter will perform mapping of the lunar surface while the lander will try to soft land on Mars and send out the rover. The main objective of the mission is to study the south pole of the moon
- The total approved cost of the Chandrayaan-2 mission is Rs 800 crore ($125 Million). The cost of India’s Mars Mission was about Rs 450 crore ($74 million).
- If the mission succeeds, then it will be the first lunar mission to ever deploy a lander on the south pole of the moon. After that, India will try to bring back a lunar sample for detailed research.
As of now, we would have to wait for the probe’s launch so as to enjoy its high resolution imagery or perhaps another new discovery. The possibilities are endless.