Trials on in full swing for March launch of Chandrayaan-2

Assembling of vehicle's components expected to take place in the next three to four weeks

Trials on in full swing for March launch of Chandrayaan-2

Complex trials, including Rover movement, have reached the final stage for the Chandrayaan-2 moon mission. The Assembly of the launch vehicle’s components is expected to take place in the next three to four weeks. The launch itself is scheduled for March next year.

Rough terrain, resembling the surface of the moon, has been created near the Isro head office in the city for conducting the tests.

Testing of the six-wheeled Rover is underway, Isro senior director M Annadorai told DH. The launch is expected to happen in March 2018, the year when India’s inter-planetary explorations complete 10 years.

An orbiter, lander and rover will be part of Chandrayaan-2. While the rover lands with the help of the lander, the orbiter orbits the moon. Sources said it was a big challenge to skillfully land the rover and trials were on in full swing.

Chandrayaan-2 is the next major exercise for Isro, after the success of Mars mission Mangalyaan. The GSLV-MK 2 rocket will lift off with the orbiter, lander and rover, together weighing 3.3 tonnes. It is still not clear as to where exactly on the moon does the rover land. Pictures from Chandrayaan-1 are being analysed to zero in on the spot.

Trials conducted

Trials on the lander propeller and those for landing the lander safely were conducted in October 2016 and March 2017 in Chitradurga. The first stage of the manouevring tests for the lander is done and it was conducting by installing lander sensors on a special aircraft. The trials have been satisfactory, the sources said.

Among the major objectives of Chandrayaan-2 are studying the chemical composition of the soil and rocks of moon’s terrain. Isro has purchased the CM-244 alpha emitter from Isotope, a Russian company, for the purpose.

The instrument emits alpha rays to identify the chemical composition of any substance on the moon.

Chandrayaan-1 functioned for just 10 months, though it was meant to to be in orbit for two years. Yet, it sent back vital information about the moon, including the fact that there was water on the moon’s surface.

The density of plasma around the moon and changes in it with time will be studied by Chandrayaan-2. It will also study the evolution of the moon’s atmosphere, using the radio anatomy of moon-bound hyper-sensitive ionosphere and atmosphere instrument.

DH News Service

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