Chandrayaan-2 – India’s Lunar Mission is on track and ISRO – The Indian Space Research Organization is also prepared to launch another 32 missions neat year in 2019. Experts have stated that India’s Lunar Mission will not only benefit ISRO but will also be beneficial for global space exploration agencies including NASA, ROSCOSMOS and the European Space Agency.
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“It will be a busy 2019 year for us. Chandrayaan-2 launch is being planned in the first quarter of 2019. The launch window is between January 3 to February end. We are striving hard for that,” ISRO chief stated.
Chandrayaan-2 comes nearly after a decade after ISRO’s first mission to the moon. The 3,890-kg Chandrayaan-2 probe will be launched onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-3. The Lander will soft-land on the lunar surface and unload the Rover to study and take measurements from the surface as the orbiter continues to circle the natural satellite.
The lander and rover on Chandrayaan-2 will touchdown at a site 600 kilometers from the lunar South pole. The rover weighing around 25 kilograms will carry two instruments that will study the lunar surface’s elemental composition.
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The probe also has aaninstrument to measure the moon’s plasma — a layer of charged molecules above the moon’s surface that could explain why lunar regolith, the dusty material covering the moon’s surface, floats above the surface for extended periods of time. Chandrayaan-2 will also carry a seismometer to record quakes on the moon, taking over from Apollo 11’s efforts to study the phenomenon, a report in the Hindu said.
The mission will also provide a map of the moon’s topology, which could add many new findings to existing data due to its unique choice of the landing site.
The plans for the probe to descend soon after it breaches the orbit was modified into a more round-about approach where the probe would go around the Moon before touching down, according to an Economic Times report.
Based on the new landing-profile, the mission has further changes and new problems, with mission engineers working overtime to ensure timely launch. With all the scientific mission riding on Chandrayaan-2, a successful landing near the south pole in itself would be an extraordinary feat for ISRO as well as global space exploration agencies.