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When is Chandrayan-2 planned to be launched?
1. India is all set to launch its second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 in July 2019, the moon landing is likely to be around the 6th of September, close to the lunar South Pole.
2. If successful, India will become the fourth country in the world to land on the moon after Russia, the United States of America and China.
3. Chandrayaan-2 is ISRO’s first mission to land on any celestial body.
What are the features of Chandrayaan-2?
1. Chandrayaan-2 is a fully indigenous mission that comprises three modules: an orbiter a Lander named Vikram and a Rover named Pragyan.
2. It will be launched on board a GSLV Mark-3 rocket, it is a three-stage heavy-lift launch vehicle designed to carry four-ton class satellites into a geosynchronous transfer orbit.
3. The integrated module will reach the moon's orbit using orbiter propulsion module after its launch into earth bound orbit by GSLV Mark-3.
4. Once Chandrayaan-2 reaches the lunar orbit, the lander Vikram will separate from the orbiter and soft land at the predetermined site close to the South Pole.
5. The South Pole has not been explored by any other countries till now.
Why is Chandrayaan-2 a challenging mission?
1. The days and nights in moon are 15-days/nights long compared to earth.
2. It cannot be landed at night because the photographs and spectral studies cannot be undertaken, therefore it is necessary to ensure that the place of landing is facing day type.
3. Mineralogy mapping requires remote sensing method. For example, if iron is found, to confirm it, ground truthing is required, such cross-checking of data is performed by the rover.
Israel’s Unsuccessful Attempt
1. The launch of Chandrayaan-2 was postponed to July in the backdrop of Israel's unsuccessful attempt to land on the moon.
2. Israel’s Bereshit because it tried to touchdown on a plane of solidified lava known as the sea of serenity which has a flattened surface and more exposure to the Sun.
3. Chandrayaan-2 will explore the South Pole, uncharted territory, and this makes it more difficult than Israel’s Bereshit.
Other Spacecraft on the Moon.
1. In January 2019, China’s Shanghai spacecraft had landed on the moon's far side also known as the dark side because it faces away from the earth and is comparatively unknown.
2. All the Apollo programs and the earlier Soviet programs have all landed on the equator of the moon.
Which were the features and achievements of Chandrayan-1?
1. Chandrayaan-1 was India's first lunar probe launched successfully by the ISRO on 22nd October 2008 from Sriharikota.
2. It was an unmanned spacecraft weighing 1380 kilos with onboard power of 700 watts launched from PSLV C11 launch Vehicle.
3. The mission comprised an orbiter and an impactor. The spacecraft was designed to study the moon including its chemical mineralogical and photo geologic mapping.
1. The launch of Chandrayaan-1 was successful in the first attempt and it also went around the moon's orbit successfully.
2. It detected water in the subsoil region and found an underground tunnel called lava tube.
3. Such lava tubes are going to be very useful for lunar colony establishment because people staying inside that lava tube would be shielded from high-energy particles.
4. Its findings also include confirmation of the magma ocean hypothesis which means the moon was once completely molten.
6. It has also detected titanium, calcium and gathered the most accurate measurements of magnesium, aluminum and iron on the lunar surface.
7. India emerged as the fourth country in the world to host its flag on the lunar surface.
How did India's space journey evolve?
1. Space exploration in India began in the 1960s, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai initiated Space Research and helped develop nuclear power in India. He is also popularly known as the father of India's space program.
2. Indian National Committee for Space Research was set up in 1962. The foundation of the Indian Space Research Organisation was laid in 1969.
3. India launched its first satellite Aryabhatt in 1975 and in 1979 Bhaskara 1 was launched.
4. In 1979 ISRO launched a series of satellites and named the mission Rohini.
5. The Indian National Satellite System (INSAT) is one of the largest domestic communication satellite systems in the Asia-pacific region with 9 operational communication satellites placed in geostationary orbit. It was commissioned in 1983.
6. Kalpana-1 was the first dedicated meteorological satellite launched by ISRO using PSLV in 2002.
7. In 2005 ISRO successfully launched INSAT 4 A from the European Ariane 5 G launch vehicle of Arian space with 12 high-power Ku band transponders, which met the requirement of direct to home television services.
8. The successful launch of Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 led to the beginning of ISRO’s historic moon mission. It was sent in space through PSLV C11.
9. ISRO had another major success in 2013. It launched IRNSS-1A navigation satellite. Along with this India has stepped in to make its GPS system on the lines of U.S.
10. In 2014, India successfully launched its Mars orbital mission of Mangalyaan a space probe orbiting Mars.
11. In 2017 a new chapter opened in the history of space research by creating a world record of launching 104 satellites simultaneously through PSLV C-37.
12. HysIS satellite weighing about 380 kgs was launched in Nov 2018. It is an earth observation satellite with the primary goal to provide hyperspectral imaging services to India for a range of applications in agriculture forestry to defense.
13. Kalamsat V2 was launched in January 2018, it is a communication satellite built by the students of space kids India for ham radio transmission, a form of wireless communication used by amateurs for non-commercial activities.
Where does the future lie for ISRO?
1. For the year 2019, the ISRO has planned 32 missions some of which have successfully been launched.
2. The most awaited Gaganyan mission will be launched in the year 2022, it plans to send two unmanned missions to space in December 2022
3. The spacecraft of Gaganyan is being designed to carry 2 to 3 people, it will be launched on ISRO’s biggest rocket the GSLV Mark 3.
4. ISRO is also aiming to reinstate its microwave remote sensing capability through the radar image satellite series and attain operational geo-imaging capability through the GSAT or the Geo imaging satellite series.
5. India would meet the high output bandwidth requirement of digital India and in-flight connectivity with the launch of GSAT 20.
6. Other applications include enhanced crop production estimation which would cover 10 additional crops and provide vital inputs for water and energy security.
7. ISRO has also planned to progressively improve the payload capability of GSLV and its variants.