Chandrayaan-2 to be launched by the ‘Bahubali’. All about ISRO’s second Moon Mission.

Chandrayaan-2 is ISRO’s second lunar exploration mission after Chandrayaan-1 comprising an orbiter and a soft lander carrying a rover. If successful (fingers crossed), Chandrayaan-2 will be the first space mission to conduct a soft landing on the Moon's South Polar region, the unexplored region of Moon. The main objectives of the missions are indeed the soft landing on region never landed before, and also to operate the robotic rover on the lunar surface. 
Science and Research goals include mineralogy, elemental abundance, Topography of the lunar surface, exosphere, Gravitational anomalies, and presence of signatures of hydroxyl and water ice. 

It will be launched at 2.51am on July 15, 2019 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The 978-crore mission will be led by two women - Ritu Karidhal, the mission director, and Vanitha M, the project director. 
Chandrayaan module will be attached to Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III, also called as ‘Bahubali’ as it has lifting capacity of 4 tons.


CREDITS: ISRO (GODL-INDIA)

The Moon Landing is expected on September 6th or 7th, 2019 and that depends upon the orbital period. During it's 16 days around the Earth, it will carry out five orbit-raising Manoeuvres.


CREDITS: ISRO (GODL-INDIA)
The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter is a box-shaped craft with an orbital mass of 2,379 kg and solar arrays capable enough to generate 1000 W of power. The orbiter will orbit the Moon at an altitude of 100 km. It carries five scientific instruments, three of them is new instruments while the two are the improved versions of that used in Chandrayaan-1. Throughout the mission, the orbiter will communicate with Indian Deep Space Network and the lander.

The lander, named Vikram, has a mass of 1,471 kg (including the rover), and can generate 650 W of solar power. The lander will communicate directly to the Indian Deep Space Network, the orbiter, and the rover. 

CREDITS: ISRO (GODL-INDIA)

The rover, Pragyan, is a 6-wheeled vehicle with a mass of 27 kg that runs on 50 W of solar power and can travel up to 500 m at a speed of 1 cm per second. The rover will communicate directly with the lander.

Payloads:
Although previously partnering with foreign Space Organisations for their payloads, ISRO in 2010 declared that due to weight restrictions for the launch it will not be carrying any foreign payloads. However just a month past the declaration, NASA’s small laser retroreflector was added in the lander’s payload, which will help scientists to measure the exact precise distances to the Moon. 

The Orbiter Payload includes: 

1. Chandrayaan-2 Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer (CLASS) from ISRO Satellites Centre (ISAC)

CREDITS: ISRO (GODL-INDIA)


2. Solar X-ray Monitor (XSM) from Physical Research Lab. (PRL) for analysing major elements present on and in the lunar surface.

CREDITS: ISRO (GODL-INDIA)


3. Dual Frequency L and S Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (DFSAR) from Space Application Centre (SAC), for the presence of different constituents, including water ice. SAR is expected to provide further evidence confirming the presence of water ice below the shadowed regions of the Moon which will help future missions. 


4. Imaging IR Spectrometer (IIRS) from SAC, for mapping of lunar surface over a wide wavelength range for the study of minerals, water molecules and hydroxyl present.


5. Chandrayaan-2 Atmospheric Compositional Explorer 2 (ChACE-2) to carry out a detailed study of the lunar exosphere.

CREDITS: ISRO (GODL-INDIA)


6. Terrain Mapping Camera-2 (TMC-2) for preparing a three-dimensional map essential for studying the lunar mineralogy and geology.


7. Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive Ionosphere and Atmosphere - Dual Frequency Radio Science experiment (RAMBHA-DFRS)


8. Orbiter High Resolution Camera (OHRC) by SAC for scouting a hazard free spot for landing. Imagery from OHRC will later help to form the 3D map of the lunar terrain. 



The Vikram Lander Payloads includes:
1. Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) for studying Moon-quakes near the landing site.

CREDITS: ISRO (GODL-INDIA)


2. Chandra's Surface Thermo-physical Experiment (ChaSTE) for estimating the thermal properties of the lunar surface.

3. RAMBHA-LP Langmuir Probe for measuring the density and variation of lunar surface plasma. 

4. A laser retroreflector array (LRA) by NASA for precise measurements of the Earth-Moon Distance. 
CREDITS: NASA-JPL



Pragyaan Rover Payloads include: 

1. Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) for Electro Optic Systems (EOS)

CREDITS: ISRO (GODL-INDIA)


2. Alpha Particle Induced X-ray Spectroscope (APXS). 

CREDITS: ISRO (GODL-INDIA)




MAJOR CHALLENGES: 
To maintain trajectory accuracy, keep deep space communications intact, make correct lunar orbit injection, maintain stability while orbiting the Moon, make perfect soft-landing on the lunar surface while avoiding lunar dust and withstand the extreme temperatures to last 14 Earth days on the lunar surface. 
This mission will boost the confidence of ISRO’s home grown technological upgrades and take ISRO’s tie with NASA to a great heights. 



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