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India set for another lunar expedition in early 2018

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lunar expedition
lunar expedition (Image:wikipedia)

Bengaluru, Oct 31: India will undertake another lunar expedition in early 2018 by sending a lander and a rover to explore the Moon to unravel its origin and present conditions, a top space official said on Monday.

The second Moon mission — Chandrayaan-2 — comes nearly a decade after India’s maiden lunar odessey in November 8, 2008, through a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket, which was launched on October 22 that year.

For launching Chandrayaan-1, the ISRO used PSLV rocket as the spacecraft carried only an impact probe vehicle to crash land on the Moon surface from its orbit.

“We are working towards putting an orbiter, lander, and the whole system in the lunar orbit in the first quarter of 2018,” state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar told reporters here.

“The orbiter is getting ready and integrated,” he said.

“The lander and rover are undergoing tests. Some more tests are planned for December,” the ISRO chief said.

The lunar spacecraft will be launched onboard the space agency’s heavy rocket — Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark II — from the second launch pad of the space port, located at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

As part of integration, the lander and rover would be configured for soft landing at a designated spot on the Moon and to conduct scientific experiments.

The rover will emerge from the lander to observe the lunar terrain and relay the data along with images through radio links.(IANS)

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India’s Second Moon Mission ‘Chandrayaan 2’ Scheduled For Mid-April: ISRO

Meanwhile, Israel, which is planning to launch its lunar mission in February, will most likely be the fourth nation to land a spacecraft on the moon, after China in December 2013, the US in 1969 and then Soviet Union in 1959

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The moon is seen near the Illimani mountain during a full lunar eclipse in La Paz, Bolivia, July 27, 2018. Photo: Reuters.

India’s second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 with a lander and rover will be attempted in mid-April, a top space official said on Friday.

“We are targeting mid-April to launch Chandrayaan-2 as there were certain tests which could not be done in time for the earlier scheduled January 3 launch,” Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Chairman K. Sivan told reporters here.

The details of the tests, which were yet to be performed for the mission, were not disclosed by the space agency.

The window to land on the lunar surface is open between March 25 till the end of April, Sivan said.

The Rs 800-crore Chandrayaan-2 mission comes a decade after the maiden mission Chandrayaan-1 was launched on October 22, 2008 from the country’s only spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 90 km northeast of Chennai.

ISRO is the mastermind behind Mangalyaan mission. Wikimedia Commons

The 3,890-kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, to be launched onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-3, will orbit around the moon to study its conditions and collect data of its topography, mineralogy and exosphere.

After reaching the 100km lunar orbit, lander with rover will separate from the spacecraft and gradually descend to soft land on the moon at a designated spot. The rover’s instruments will observe and study the lunar surface.

The lander has been named “Vikram” as a tribute to the pioneer of India’s space programme and former ISRO chairman (1963-71) Vikram Sarabhai.

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While Chandrayaan-1 reached the lunar orbit on November 8, 2008 and its impact probe crashed onto the moon on November 14, 2008, the 675kg spacecraft was lost on August 29, 2009 after orbiting at 100km away from its surface and mapping its chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic properties for over nine months.

Meanwhile, Israel, which is planning to launch its lunar mission in February, will most likely be the fourth nation to land a spacecraft on the moon, after China in December 2013, the US in 1969 and then Soviet Union in 1959. (IANS)