Spaceflight Insider

ISRO chairman confident of Chandrayaan-2 success

GSLV-F09 / GSAT-9 on the 2nd launch pad

Archive photo of the GSLV-F09 rocket on the 2nd launch pad, April 29, 2017. Chandrayaan-2 will be launched on the GSLV-F10. Photo Credit: ISRO

India’s Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission, which was recently delayed to October 2018, will end in success, believes the chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Kailasavadivoo Sivan, the chairman of ISRO, gave a speech to scientists at the Mission Control Center after the launch of the GSLV-F08 mission on March 29. He also noted that there was still 10 planned launches, including Chandrayaan-2 are “very high profile missions” that are slated fro the remainder of this year (2018).

Chandrayaan-2 mission

Illustration of the Chandrayaan-2 mission (the lower right figure is of Chandrayaan-1). Image Credit: IIT Bombay

When it comes to Chandrayaan-2, Sivan expressed his confidence in the success of the mission.

“Chandrayaan-2 is going to land on Moon and rover will be roving on the Moon,” he said.

Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second mission to the Moon, and is comprised of an orbiter, a lander and a rover.

The orbiter will be inserted into a 62-mile (100-kilometer) lunar orbit from where it will release the lander for a soft landing on the lunar surface. The lander will then deploy a 44-pound (20-kilogram) rover that is slated to move around near the landing site in a semi-autonomous mode for about two weeks, observing the lunar surface and analyzing the Moon’s soil.

The launch of the mission was targeted for April 2018, however, the ISRO revealed recently that it was postponing the mission’s start by at least six months. According to Sivan, the additional time is needed to conduct extra tests suggested by experts.

Therefore, the launch of Chandrayaan-2 is now scheduled for no earlier than October of this year (2018). If everything goes as it is currently planned, the mission will lift off from the Second Launch Pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre atop a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) in its Mk II variant. If everything goes as planned, Chandrayaan-2 will become the first mission to land a rover near the lunar south pole. It will also make India the fourth country to successfully soft-land a spacecraft on the Moon, after the U.S, Soviet Union and China.

Although Chandrayaan-2’s main goal is to demonstrate the soft-landing capability, the mission is also scheduled to collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere, and signatures of hydroxyl and water ice.

India’s first mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-1, was operating in lunar orbit between October 2008 and August 2009. The goal of the mission was to study the chemical, mineralogical, and photo-geologic makeup of the Moon.

 

 

 

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Tomasz Nowakowski is the owner of Astro Watch, one of the premier astronomy and science-related blogs on the internet. Nowakowski reached out to SpaceFlight Insider in an effort to have the two space-related websites collaborate. Nowakowski's generous offer was gratefully received with the two organizations now working to better relay important developments as they pertain to space exploration.

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