Chandrayaan-2 lunar probe to have orbiter and lander

While the country's first lunar probe was launched in October 2008, the schedule of the proposed Chandrayaan-2 lift-off is being eagerly awaited. AFP file photo.

Ahmedabad-based Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) has developed three payloads for India's second lunar exploration mission Chandrayaan-2, which unlike Chandrayaan-1 will include an orbiter, a lander and a rover.

While the country's first lunar probe was launched in October 2008, the schedule of the proposed Chandrayaan-2 lift-off is being eagerly awaited.

"There are three payloads developed by the PRL for Chandrayaan-2. The orbiter will have a solar X-ray monitor developed by PRL. It will monitor x-rays coming from the Sun and X-rays being generated on the surface of the moon," said PRL Director Dr. Anil Bhardwaj.

He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 15th International Symposium on Equatorial Aeronomy, organised at the main PRL campus here.

PRL, a unit of Department of Space, was founded in 1947.

"On the lander, there will be Chandra's Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE). This is a probe which will measure the temperature beneath the surface by getting inside the surface of the moon. It will do so after the lander lands on moon," the director said, adding that this equipment will also be developed by PRL.

(ChaSTE) is one of the science experiments proposed to conduct in lunar surface in Chandrayaan-2 mission.

For the rover, which will come out from the lander and meant to roam on the lunar surface, PRL has developed an instrument called 'Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer', said Bhardwaj.

"This instrument is designed to identify various elements and chemical compounds on the surface of the moon" he said.

According to reports, Chandrayaan-2 is likely to be launched in January-March window in 2019. However, exact dates are not yet released.

PRL is also developing instruments for 'Aditya-L1 mission', which is aimed at studying the Sun through a satellite placed in the halo orbit around the Lagrangian point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system, said Bharadwaj.

An instrument for the measurement of charge particles has also been developed, he said.

"With this instrument, we will be able to study solar winds, charge particles and its energy range," said Bhardwaj.

As per ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) website, the satellite will be inserted in a halo orbit around the L1, which is 1.5 million kms from the earth.

The project is approved and the satellite will be launched during 2019 2020 time frame by PSLV-XL from Sriharikota. PTI PJT PD NSK NSK

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Chandrayaan-2 lunar probe to have orbiter and lander

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